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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The presence of company is an interesting thing. Have you ever thought about it? Being with people changes our demeanor, sometimes changing the very essence of who we are. The presence of some may intimidate us; others will scare us completely. There are others who give us courage.

I was kind of thinking about my first day of school. All dressed up in these stiff clothes with the new smell, I walked hesitantly towards the classroom door. Who knew what waited on the other side? I'd heard rumors--some good, some bad--but none that made me sure of where I was headed. In my hand I carried this cool lunch box my parents had bought me. I clutched it tighter as if it would somehow give me strength I never knew. But I made the journey nonetheless. Why? Because my dad was with me. That's it. Just his presence. He didn't say much. Didn't carry me in. Didn't have a talk with all the other kindergartners to let them know who I was. He just stood. And everything was alright until...that moment where I turned, he waved goodbye and my world crumbled. (the good news is I survived Kindergarten and lived to tell about it. The bad news is, my dad had to go with me every day for a week. Thanks, Dad).

Many times the Bible mentioned that God was "with" different individuals. It uses that terminology on many occasions. It says that God was with Enoch, Noah, Isaac, Abraham and Jacob. It even goes so far as to say that God was with the entire nation of Israel during the Exodus. Continuing that thought, Jesus closed his days here on earth by saying, "Remember, I am with you always."

I know what you must be thinking. God? On my side? You must be kidding! Right here, right now? Hanging out with me? Yes, a thousand times yes. Not because He feels obligated. Not because it's part of the job description as the King of All. No. Simply because He chooses to be. Let's face it. God's got a million things to do. Good news? None are more important than being with you. Hope you draw strength from His presence today. Lay down your lunch box. Stop clinging to whatever gives you false hope. And trust in the one constant reassurance...God is with you!

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