Not Alone

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How do you experience God? That is not a rhetorical question. I’m really asking. In what ways do you sense His presence as you go about your day? Each one of us will most likely have a different answer…and a different answer on a different day. Today, for instance, I experienced Him in the quiet as I sat and read His word. On Sunday, I felt His presence through worship. Thirty years ago I experienced Him at the very moment I first held my son, awed with amazement at what God had done. But some of you may ask, “What does that feel like? How do you know God is there?” Again, for each of us it may be different, but for me, I am overwhelmed with the comfort and peace of knowing I am not alone. I feel a joy even in the midst of a trial and a hope when things look bleak. Experiencing God for me comes through the knowledge that I am forgiven and loved unconditionally.

Sometimes, however, the “feeling” eludes me. I go through a dry spell, so to speak, and that dry spell disappoints me. I like to feel God’s presence. I welcome it; I long for it. During those times when His presence seems vague, I still believe but my faith seems flat. I can feel stagnant as if I'm stuck behind a barrier that I can’t seem to get through. But, just because I don’t “feel” God, it doesn’t mean He is not there. God has promised us that He will never ever leave us, and I believe Him!

“I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

God gave us His Holy Spirit as confirmation of His constant presence. He is with us in the moments when we feel alone. He is with us when we grieve. He is with us as we struggle and go through dry spells. And, He is with us when we feel afraid. God knows that being aware of Him can seem dim at times. I think that is one of the reasons He came to earth in the body of a man. He put the face of humanity on the essence of God. When I can’t quite feel Him, when I am struggling to sense the comfort of His presence, I close my eyes picture Him as Jesus. Jesus the man… Jesus - the man who loved and laughed and wept and suffered.

At church on Sunday, there was a scene on the backdrop of the stage with a depiction of Jesus giving His Sermon on the Mount. As I looked at the picture, I was filled with joy. Now, I know that the picture was an actor and not truly Jesus, but it helped me to see Jesus in my life, sitting next to me and talking with me. Jesus came to this earth and walked among us. He suffered with us and He died for us all in the body of a man. Could He have saved us another way? Probably, however, God chose this way. He chose to become a man so we could connect with Him. He did it so we would realize He really does know exactly how we feel for He has experienced the same human emotions, trials and joys that we have. And just like the sacrifices of a caring father, He chose this way because of His overwhelming love for us.

And so, when I am missing the sensation of God, I picture Jesus. I close my eyes and meditate on His words remembering that no matter how I feel, He is still with me. And then, in God’s perfect timing, that familiar sense of peace wells up inside me. I feel His comfort and I know am not alone.


Living fully,

Joan

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16 comments

  1. i love reading your posts Joan..and am glad you are writing again.
    I often experience God as I read my devotionals..........posts that have spoken to me that I have copied into my prayer Journal.
    I read each day until something speaks to me, then stop and listen for what it is God is saying to me about it.
    I love it how He draws our hearts close to Him through His Word and through the Holy Spirit personalises the word into exactly how each person will understand it best. He often speaks to me in pictures, which is great as I can remember pictures more easily than words.
    Mostly lately He has been impressing upon me that He wants me to learn to be a good RECEIVER of ALL He has for me. It is easy for me to give and hard to receive and He wants to change that this year.
    So, I stand before Him with the arms of my heart wide open and ask for any blockage to be removed so that I can freely receive .......then freely give.

    May God bless us both in our spiritual journeys this year. xx

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    1. I love devotionals as well. They help me to apply God's word to my life and in turn, grow closer to Him. And, listening...that is perfect! We hear Him in the stillness. When we slow down enough that the busyness of our lives fade, God and what He is wanting us to hear comes to the forefront! Thank you for your encouraging comment! I'm praying that you are blessed as you learn to be a receiver of all He has for you!

      Blessings, Joan

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  2. Hi, Joan! :) I can relate to having days when I will almost feel lost and alone in my faith walk. I love listening to and singing contemporary Christian worship music. I listen to it every day, either on my computer, on the radio in my car, or from a small collection of cd's that I have. Music is one of my favorite ways to feel connected to God and His presence. I can be in worst mood or feel like God is nowhere to be found, hear a certain song and it changes my whole attitude. I can't say it happens 100 percent of the time, but it works for me at least 90 percent of the time. Thanks for sharing from your heart!

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    1. It is amazing how music can help us to feel connected with God, isn't it? It can reach the deepest parts of our soul inspiring us and re-focusing our thoughts. I've found that music is the catalyst that puts praise on my lips and thankfulness in my heart. I definitely sense His presence through worship, too!

      Blessings, Joan

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  3. Joan, I think we can all relate to those times. I love that you said, "Just because we don't feel like God's there, doesn't mean He isn't." It's so true. No matter how we feel, He is always with us. Thank you for this wonderful reminder. Linking up with you today over at A Little R&R.

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    1. What an awesome promise from God - to always be with us! Remembering that always encourages me and gives me courage to step out in faith!

      Blessings, Joan

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  4. Those dry spells are horrible! I've been there! It is a wonderful thing to know that even when we don't "feel" Him, He is still there :) I hope you can stop by:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/01/songs-on-sunday-greater-is-he-by-blanca.html

    Colletta

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  5. There are a hundred different ways I feel God's presence, but, thank God, whether we feel Him or not, His promise is to never, never, never leave us or forsake us. I'm so thankful for that.

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    1. Amen, Elizabeth! I am so thankful, too!

      Have a wonderful Sunday!

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  6. Joan, when I live in gratitude I am more aware of His tender mercies and involvement in my life. I think it is important to consciously practice His presence. Thanks so much for this encouragement.

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    1. Great point, Debbie! Having an attitude of thankfulness, remembering all that God has done for us keeps us focused on the fact that He is with us...we are not alone!

      Blessings, Joan

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  7. Thanks, Joan, for reminding us that God is always with us, even though He is manifested in different ways at different times. I'm glad to have discovered your lovely blog via Holley's link up.
    p.s. Are the beautiful sunflower photos yours?

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    1. Hi Constance! It's so nice to meet you...thanks for popping over from Holley's! Yes, the sunflower picture was taken my my husband along side a highway in Central California. I believe the flowers are being grown for David Sunflower Seed Company (but, I'm not sure.) I see that you like sunflowers from your profile picture in your comment! They are bright and cheerful, aren't they?

      Knowing God is always with us is such a comfort. I love the encouragement He brings by always being by our side.

      Blessings, Joan

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  8. WE'RE NOT ALONE is such comfort. Thanks for sharing this encouragement and linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

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