"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Presence or Presents

"In the glory of your presence, I find rest for my soul.
In the depths of your love, I find peace - makes me whole."

Traveling home from a worship night at church, belting out the lyrics to "I love your presence", I could not escape the last word: presence. After repeating it several times out loud, it struck me that most of the time when I sing that song, I am really saying, "I love your presents!"

I love your presents.

My heart is full of joy in response to the gifts you bring into my life. I feel close to you because you have blessed me so much. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with those phrases. But, it is not the point of the song, nor is it the way to find rest and peace.

Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. “More, more.”
I have God’s more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day

than they get in all their shopping sprees. (Psalm 4:6-8 MSG)

Presence. What does it mean and how do I get to a place of enjoying his company more than his gifts?

First, it requires silence, yes silence in a loud world. I believe people are scared of being alone with their thoughts and fears. Tune it out and ignore, seems to be the motto of those around me. Rest = stillness. It gives my heart the opportunity to connect with the one who is outside of time.

Second, I focus on his presence when I continually think about the nature of God and remind myself that he is with me always. To bring rest and peace in a busy day, I turn to him over and over again. Once in the morning, right before bed, or for an hour on Sunday, as if he's a booster shot of love, does not allow me to find the depths of his love. Nor does it make me whole.

I love your presence.

...Me? I plan on looking you full in the face.
When I get up, I’ll see your full stature
and live heaven on earth. (Psalm 17:15 MSG)

When I enjoy his presence, peace does not depend on my circumstances, his gifts, or lack thereof. Because his presence and love never change, I do not have to worry. I can rest in the knowledge that he does not act outside of his nature, that everything he does comes from a heart full of grace and perfect unconditional love.

"If you want it, come and get it...  
This love that he has given you
was never in doubt."

God above and God right by my side, I want to sit at your feet and enjoy all you have for me. Help me resist the temptation to allow my praise to be dependent on my circumstances. Your presence is truly all I need. Amen.

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