I love the calming effect that the ocean has on me. Whenever I have a chance to be around it, I let it all sink in. The sound of the water lapping over itself, the rhythmic dancing of the waves, and the tranquil lay of the ocean as it meets the sky all draw me in like a moth to a flame.
Can you relate?
To me, I don’t have to be in the ocean to enjoy it. I actually like it most when I can just be in its presence. Sitting on the sand or on a balcony overlooking the ocean is my favorite spot. Sometimes I’m not even looking at it directly but just reading by it or talking to a friend while lying near it.
I was recently at the beach with a friend for a relaxing vacation. On the last day of the trip it was raining and gloomy. Instead of being bummed by the overcast weather, I finagled ways to still be in its presence. I went to the fitness room where there was a fantastic ocean view in front of the treadmills. Back in the hotel room, I moved one of the chairs around to face out the window just to catch a glimpse of the ocean view while I read.
This feeling of being in the presence of something that gives you joy can be fulfilled by many different things.
- Being in your special place to relax or vacation.
- Using your God-given gifts at just the right time.
- Visiting with friends and family that make you laugh and feel loved.
This led me to think of how I take the presence of God for granted. How often do I prioritize my decisions and/or schedule in the light of His presence?
Jeremiah 23:23-24 is a reminder that we are always in His presence whether we realize it or not:
“‘Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.”
He fills every place I go and He is always with me through the good and the bad…but am I always with Him?
The main verse for me this year has been from Psalm 73:23:
“Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand.”
This verse has continuously been echoed throughout different avenues and I am reminded of these truths:
- His spirit is in my being (Holy Spirit)
- His words are readily available for my eyes (Bible)
- His example of loving others has been set (Jesus)
- His glory is just an exhale away from the air in my lungs (Worship)
On top of that, He is a palpable physical presence to me. Want to know how?
- He sits next to me when I think I’m alone.
- He grabs my hand before someone else lets go.
- He cheers me on in each small victory.
- He guides my steps when I can’t see ahead.
- He catches my heart before it falls into the wrong hands.
Lord, I want to move throughout my day around you. To move my chair around to face your glory, fix my eyes to your calm, rhythms of grace, and tune my ears to hear your laughter, encouragement, and direction. I am so grateful for your sweetness, your unwillingness to let go of me when I think I know what’s best, and for your loving presence when it goes unnoticed.
Are you willing to try with me?
This may mean we won’t “look” like everyone else. We may need to make choices that are unpopular. We may have to pause longer than normal to answer a question. We may have to wait longer than we’d like for an answer. We may have to let go of some good things in order to receive the best He has in store.
I pray that we keep our spiritual eyes open and aware. That we understand the magnitude of His presence and feel the true joy only He can give. That we won’t take for granted this gift we have now on earth that will be magnified in heaven.
Oh, what a glorious day it will be when He is our everlasting light for all eternity.
Until next time…