We are “doing” type of people. We love to get things done and feel accomplished. We like to fix things, make wrong things right. This is an “image of God” thing in us, it absolutely is! There’s nothing more I hate then hearing Christians completely debunk the fact that we were in fact created to create, work, imagine. But we were never meant to do that without presence.
My good friend has been pretty sick these last couple of months. I am the Queen of doing. Every visit to the hospital was met with an expectation to make him laugh, shower him with gifts, or to somehow just have an answer for all of the pain. There is an interesting feeling of helplessness that washes over you when you can’t fix something. One day we were visiting and I felt the desire to return to a passage that has been closely engrained in my history with the Holy Spirit. Psalms 23 in the passion translation says,
“The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.
I always have more than enough.
2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness
so that I can bring honor to his name.
4 Lord, even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
Your authority is my strength and my peace.
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
5 You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;
you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.
6 So why would I fear the future?
For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!”
As we spoke these words into the room, the atmosphere began to change. And then it hit me.
The most powerful thing we could do is be present with those around us. But the only way we will ever have capacity to do that is if we learn how to be present with the Holy Spirit that is always with us.
God with us.
Seems to be the answer to every question.
Seems to be the satisfaction to every longing.
Seems to be the healing to every heart ache.
As I looked my friend in the eyes and read Psalms 23 over him, I was awakened to the power of presence. There was not a thing that we could say, do, or fix that could make things better. The best thing was to be present in the room with him; to be present in pain with confidence that God leverages everything for the good of those who love him.
In my work, I have the privilege of meeting with students and young adults very often. When people come longing for answers and solutions, or even good advice, the main thing I always say
is, “The Holy Spirit is inside of you. The Holy Spirit is with you. The Holy Spirit is a good teacher and you can trust his leadership.” More times then not, the person sitting across the table with me is surprised and quite honestly, I am surprised every time I hear those words come out of my mouth. It is always a privilege to remember the type of access we have to the Holy Spirit. Just His presence is enough.
As you are reading this, I am sure you are full of deep desires, longings, questions, and heart aches. And to you I say the same thing: God is with you. He remains close to you. He doesn’t turn his eye from you. Take courage, the God who created the universe is with you and He is on your side.
Feel free to meditate on this prayer as you become present to God who is not convinced to stay or to leave by your actions, but instead is ever present with you in every mountain or valley.
Holy Spirit, thank you for being with me.
Father, thank you for never turning your eye from me.
Jesus, thank you for putting on flesh and coming close to me.
I love your leadership.
I trust your teaching.
I lean on every word you say.
There is nothing I have to do to make you come, or make you stay.
You are with me.
You were with me.
You will always be with me,
And that is enough.
May hope fill your heart,