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2017-Blog-Youve-Been-Here-All-Night-06.15.17

I’ve recently been sitting up with a dear friend overnights. This sweet friend suffers from brain disease and has lost both short term and most long term memory. Although I help during the night when needed, most mornings I am greeted with the same innocent smile and question, “You’ve been here all night?”

While this dear saint sleeps, arouses briefly, and occasionally needs help, I am watching, waiting for a call for help, observing the normal signs of life like breathing, and preemptively serving necessary needs. Although the night has been busy from my end, each morning I’m met with a new surprised look and question, “You’ve been here all night?”

I can’t help but think of us as a people with God. Most days it is we who have spiritual amnesia and forget that God is with us every day and every night. As followers of Christ, we know that God never sleeps nor slumbers; He never leaves us (Psalm 121; Joshua 1:9). Christ is with us always (Matthew 28:20). The Holy Spirit seals and empowers us as we are indwelt by Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). God perfectly does those things – and so much more for us – that I so imperfectly do for my friend. He is watching, waiting for a call for help, observing and supervising the normal signs of life, and preemptively serving our every need. Friends, He is there.

How convicting, and yet still comforting, to consider the fact that God loves, serves, and helps us even when we functionally are oblivious to His presence. In our most desperate moments, He is there. When we strive to live independently of Him, He is there. As we cry out, He is there. As we are busy doing our own thing, He is there. When we are afraid, He is there. When we misperceive the danger around us and are carefree, He is there. When our hearts are broken and we are so low, He is there. On our happiest day, He is there. Friends, He is there.

So whatever you are going through today, this is great news! God’s faithfulness to you does not depend upon your faithfulness to Him. In fact, God is faithful to us in spite of the fact that He knows we will not be faithful to Him. God is faithful to us when nothing we do or say deserves it. In our most holy moments and in our most unholy moments, God is with us. Friends, He is there.

How do we respond to such wonderful, yet convicting, news?

First, stop and thank God for being with you today. This may be the first time today you have considered Him; however, He has been waiting and is ready to hear you. He has been busy doing everything necessary to keep your world together while you have also been too busy to pay attention to Him. Take time now to just pause to pray and be grateful because friends, He is there.

Seek to stay aware of His presence the rest of today. You can set an hourly chime on your phone, place a note somewhere you won’t miss it, or tie a string around your finger – okay, maybe not that one, but do something that will specifically remind you of His presence throughout your day. When you consciously consider His presence, just breathe a sigh of relief, put a sweet smile on your heart, and welcome Him into your thoughts. “God, it is so nice that You are here with me right now,” for friends, He is there.

Furthermore, rehearse in your mind all of the blessings God provides for you today. Whisper them back to yourself. If you are where you can’t whisper, then just reflect on them. If you are alone, say them out loud. “God, I am forgiven of my sins today because of Jesus Christ. I stand in righteousness having the power of sin broken because of Christ. I am not alone but instead enjoy You now because of the sacrificial death of Jesus. You give me confidence of Heaven in the future and strength for this world around me today.” Carefully consider all of the ways that God blesses you and voice them. Friends, He is there.

To God, “You’ve been here all night?”

God says, “Yes, and all day as well. I will never leave you or forsake you.”

May God be praised because friends, He is there.

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What are other ways that you practice remembering and celebrating the presence of God?

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