Most of us are familiar with this scenario: a child is fed, washed up, teeth brushed, prayed over, and tucked in. Everyone says goodnight. You know what happens next...
And thus begins a series of appeals. Another drink of water, a trip to the bathroom, a stuffed animal (who you thought had been forgotten, but who is apparently very important), and the list goes on.
As a parent, I remember going through the motions – getting the water, finding the beloved stuffed animal – only to realize that what my little one really wanted was just for me to sit down and stay for a few minutes.
My child just wanted my presence.
And so it is with me and I suppose with most of us. I have this notion that if I could just get this or that thing, or if I could just sort out a certain problem, then I could breathe easier. My life would be better. But what I really need is presence.
The whole summer has been filled with this theme. At Arts and Rec camp we saw over and over again that the Lord was present with his people, and that God promises us a heavenly city called The Lord is There. In our Exodus series we have learned that although God does not promise to take away our troubles, he promises something better. He promises to be with us, to be present.
And he is. He is present with us by his word, by his Spirit, and in the fellowship of his people.
I am thankful that these are the actual things that can make us breathe easier. These are the things that make life better. And I am thankful that God offers his presence to me through you, the church. May God help us all to draw near, to consider one another, and to gather together (Heb.10:22-25) so that in this way, as the body of Christ, we are the hands and feet of Christ. In this way we see his face tangibly.
So, just like that little kid, someday I might need a drink of water or a long-lost teddy bear. I might someday come up with something else. But what I truly need, every day, is the presence of God.
Thank you for being Jesus to me.