July 20, 2016
Growing up with a dad who is a psychiatrist has been both a blessing and a curse for my three girls. You see, I am always “treating” them. To me, that’s what a dad should be doing – equipping their children to be Godly decision makers so they achieve their God-given potential. Well, my girls sometimes have a different view. Sometimes, the lessons I am trying to get across to them don’t seem to be sinking in. Maybe at times I need to just be Dad. (That’s a different Stepping Stones)
But one of the blessings God gives me is hearing various surprising remarks that slip out at cool, random times. They show me that the teachings are sinking in and I realize that God’s timing is awesome. Tidbits like, “Dad, it seemed like you were in the room with me,” … “I felt like you were watching me,” … “I know you were there to protect me,” … “I heard you talking to me in my head,” and my favorite, “I found myself using exactly what you taught me when I was little.” The interesting and amazing part is that I wasn’t with them when they “experienced” my presence in their situations. I’ve tried to master being in two places at the same time, but you would have seen me on Oprah if I had that superpower.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could have a Father who created you, gave you life, loves you, pursues you, sees into the depths of your heart, perseveres and relentlessly pursues you despite your repeated rejections of Him, promises to be with you always, and is everywhere … a Father who never leaves your side?
You guessed it … you do have that Father! You are never alone. Your God is closer than you dare believe. He is not sitting up in heaven at the control panel pushing buttons or pulling strings from afar. He isn’t disinterested in your needs and troubles because you are bad or trivial. He’s not caught up in bigger problems in the Middle East … He is intimately close to you. Don’t let Satan’s lie get in your head, tricking you into thinking God stranded you. Satan wants you to believe you are alone, with no help in sight. Don’t let a feeling become your reality. Just because you feel alone doesn’t mean you are alone. Feelings are great distorters. That’s why we say “Love is blind.”
Today, try to be mindful of the direct connection between loneliness and your lack of awareness of God’s closeness to you. You’ll be surprised when you start to believe and place faith in His promises to be by your side. You are much better off believing His promises and instruction instead of your feelings. Remember how many times your feelings have tricked you in the past. Whether you place your faith in God and His teachings or you put your faith in your transient feelings is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, I come now to thank You for Your mercy and grace. I deeply desire to experience Your presence in my life. When I am aware of Your nearness, I feel peace and contentment. When I fail to recognize You, I feel frightened, vulnerable and lonely. Let my feelings of loneliness be a constant reminder that I need to seek Your face. I need to remember that the only thing I should fear is losing my connection with You. I come to You, Lord, with my ever-so-human emptiness. Fill me with Your divine presence. Fill me with life to the fullest. I pray this in the name the one who is always in Your presence, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
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
And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face forever. Psalm 41:12