As I sit here and think about all the events that have occurred over this past week, every joy and pain, celebration and mourning, every peak and valley that myself and some close loved ones of mine have experienced, God has put a lot on my heart.
I was able to stand beside one of my best friends this weekend and see her marry her best friend. I could feel God’s presence at the ceremony and everything leading up to it. Many tears of joy were shed as I witnessed two family’s becoming one. I was so overwhelmed with happiness for my sweet and beautiful bride of a friend. I was reminded of these past four years and all of the work God has completed in the both of us and every moment he used us to help one another and to grow one another closer to and in the likeness of him. It’s truly humbling to see someone that God has called you to build into and build up as a disciple begin to build into and disciple yourself. I have been singing praises for the work he has completed in this bride’s life up until this moment and I am still singing praises for all that he will do through this marriage.
As I left this sweet celebration, I was reminded of just how short life is. In a 24 hour period I was informed of three deaths of relatives of close friends of mine and my heart was shattered. I was washed over with so much emotion, pain, and heartache for these people in my life. I have continually prayed that God would allow me to empathize and feel what others do in order to give me the best perspective of how to serve them. I by no means am saying that I completely understand what these friends of mine are going through. However, God is teaching me a lot in this space.
While I was driving earlier this morning, I realized how cloudy it was, but I soon laughed at myself because in typical “blue-eyed” fashion I immediately reached for my sunglasses. No matter how thick the clouds are, my sensitive eyes always need protected from what little light comes through the overcast. And today, this really got me thinking. When it’s cloudy out we always seem to refer to it as “the sun’s not out” and that was so silly to me this morning that I seriously began cracking up. I after the laughter ceased I thought to myself, “the sun is always out, why do we act like it completely disappears when it’s blocked?” and then God laid it down for me. A realization that I have been neglecting myself up until now.
Just because the clouds are out does not mean the sun ceases to shine.
Think about that with me for a second. I mean imagine the biggest downpour of your life, the blackest clouds, absolutely no “sight” of the sun. Does the sun stop illuminating just because clouds cover the atmosphere? The answer is an obvious no, but our brains like to trick us into believing so.
This illustration had me thinking in terms of my life. I have had many peaks and valleys this past year, but God was never not present. Like the sun, his presence is continuous even when we cannot seem to feel it. He is constant, he is not moved or swayed. I was overwhelmed with this realization today. As I peered out the window of the coffee shop I was sitting in, clouds were everywhere, the sun was not visible, but even so the earth was still illuminated.
We can’t always see God, we can’t always hear or feel him, but He is always there. I love that image of the earth still lit even when there is a storm. I know in my life I tend to forget that God’s love is still raining down on me new mercies and grace consistently, it sometimes just becomes harder to physically see them.
I have been so overwhelmed with the hope that this image brought me this morning. Please, if you are still reading this, hear me out. You never have to experience life circumstances alone.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
For I, the Lordyour God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
There are so many more scripture references, but these are a few of my favorites. God continually promised the Israelites in the Old Testament that he would never leave them. He eternally fulfilled that promise with the death and resurrection of his one and only son, Jesus Christ, who has come so “that we may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). And before he ascended into heaven, he prayed, “”I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
God’s entire plan of salvation is so that we will continually draw nearer and nearer to him through repentance, prayer, scripture reading, living out his will, showing the fruits of the spirit and much more. But once you receive salvation for your sins, he never lets you live life alone. It is an eternal communion with your heavenly father.
If you are reading this an haven’t experienced salvation, please let me be the first to say, you are never not good enough or too far gone. Christ wants you to draw into his presence no matter who you are or what you have done.
If you have received salvation, I pray that his post has encouraged you in some way. I pray you are reminded of the consistency of God’s presence and his promise to never leave you. In your next storm, or even when life is going well, look to the “rock that is higher than you” and be reminded that God’s love, grace, and mercies are always there. Look up at the sun or the clouds today and smile, the sun is still shining, and God’s love is never ending.