God’s always present. But is He always welcome?
Just as quickly as a deer that has been right beside you unbeknownst to your awareness, cloaked under the mask of foliage darts across your path, God sends reminders of His ever present self. But when you feel like you’re alone, wandering between one giant patch of kudzu and another in the forestry of this thing called life, often the tendency is to jump at the sound of any snapped branch that might indicate company. Frequently, we who are voyaging through uncharted territories tend to think that if we tread lightly enough, we’ll make it out unscathed.
Yet, each one of us lonely travelers has a great need for urgent support. We each require someone with resources stronger than the sharpest machete to rescue us from the creeping bramble- ridden woods and the bad company that may be lurking, ready to devour us. The one who knows this need is always present. But is He always welcome?
Sometimes we may think we’ve just set off for a nice walk on a charming path. We may not even be aware that we have the need for rescue because our senses haven’t been awakened to the dangers found in the forest yet.
A good traveling scout is always prepared, though.
A well-prepared traveler puts aside his self-sufficiency and welcomes a guide.
Climbers preparing to ascend Everest know this. They hire Sherpas, who have been conditioned to the climate, elevation, and prepared for even the worst of circumstances, to journey with them.
Whether it’s the Everests, the Everglades, or the Everwoods we may face, the Sherpa whom many call, “The Good Shepherd,” is right beside you.
If your inclination is to give Him a silent hello through a nod and pull yourself up by your own boot straps, you may walk for a few miles, but you’re sure to trip over an unforeseen root down the line.What He desires most is to be welcomed by you. Not just for your rescue, although He’s there to pull you out of even the deepest, darkest caverns when you call upon His name. You need His help at all times. You need it when you think you’ve got things under control and also when you don’t. You need His friendship and His company just as desperately as you need His rescue. You need to know you’re not traversing this globe alone. You need His welcomed presence.
It’s against His nature to not be omnipresent. He is omnipresent…He is all present. He is omniscient…He is all knowing. He is omnipotent…He is all powerful.
But as far as His welcome goes, that invitation is left up to you.
And after you welcome Him, it’s still your task to make Him know that He is still invited, desired, and accepted.
In the midst of daily interactions, it’s not uncommon to forget that He’s right beside you. I’m guilty of such memory lapse to be sure.
He’s the unseen guest. But He is more than just a guest. He is The Father and He wants to be your closest friend.
He’s in the kitchen when you’re cooking up supper after a long day’s work.
He’s in the car as you go to pick up your kid from detention.
He’s at the cafe table when you sit down with your girlfriends to dish.
He’s jogging along side you and your double stroller as you try to shed those pregnancy pounds.
He’s on the corner of your picnic blanket as you bask in the beautiful sunshine.
He’s beside you as you sit in front of a counselor trying to salvage what’s left of your marriage.
He’s sitting beside you on the front pew of the church as you say goodbye to your elderly parent.
He’s dancing to the music as your son sweeps his new bride off of her feet.
He’s in the floor with you as you hear the news from the doctor’s phone call.
But is He welcome? He desires so much more than just being there with you. He wants the relational part of being there with you.
He wants to help slice, dice, and stir with you in the kitchen after that hard day’s work…because He wants to give you His strength.
He wants to tell you not to give up on your kid as you drive to pick them up from their latest time of punishment for shenanigans…because He still has a good plan for your child and He still has a good plan for you.
He wants to help your conversation be uplifting and encouraging rather than full of gossip when you get together with the girls…because He loves fellowship and gossip only adds to the destruction of relationships.
He wants to jog beside you and be your cheerleader as you get more healthy for yourself and your precious bundles in that double jogger you’re pushing… because He wants to shout words of affirmation as you take care of His temple, to let you know that you’re beautiful just the way He created YOU, and to keep you from getting discouraged by comparing yourself to others.
He wants to dine with you on your picnic blanket as you enjoy the beautiful day…because He made it and there’s nothing more exciting than seeing someone enjoy the gift you made for them.
He wants to be with you and your spouse as you seek to reconcile your marriage…because He is the great counselor and redeemer and He desires to whisper or even shout His truths to you both and let you know that He can fix even the most broken of people and mend the most miserable of marriages.
He wants to sit with you on that front row of the funeral service…because He wants to put His arms around you in a full embrace to let you know that death doesn’t have power over His resurrection and that there is hope because of His sacrifice.
He wants to be with you at your son’s wedding…not just as a guest…but to dance with you and to remind you that your family is expanding, which is a blessing.
He wants to be in the floor with you as you hear the news from the doctor…to remind you that it was for those tears He died and that He is the great physician.
Will you welcome Him to not only be present, but to fellowship through His personality with you?
Your journey through life’s darkest and brightest forests doesn’t have to be alone.
Everyone needs someone to share their story with.
Why not call up the one who’s already beside you and ask Him if He’ll come along side you for all the joys and hurdles as you navigate through the pages before you?
After all, it’s not just you’re story…it’s His.story.
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 NIV
“Call unto me and I will show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3 KJV
As you reflect on this, worship along with Jesus Culture singer, Kim Walker, as she echoes these sentiments through the song, “Holy Spirit.”