Why would he need to reassure them of God’s presence?
One of my favorite passages is Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save,
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
This passage has brought me comfort time and time again, especially the notion that God delights in us and quiets us with His love.
But last week as I was once again reflecting on it something new came to mind.
Why would the prophet need to reassure them of God’s presence?
For whatever reason they were not experiencing a sense of God being with them.
Ever been there? Ever wondered where God had gone and why He seemed to leave you when you most needed Him? I have.
Why would God not make His ongoing presence very obvious? Why does He allow us times of feeling abandoned? Larry Crabb offers this insight:
God’s restraint has a purpose. When He appears to be doing nothing, He is doing something we’ve not yet learned to value and therefore cannot see. Only in the agony of His absence, both in the real absence of certain blessings and in the felt absence of His Presence, will we relax our determined grasp of our empty selves enough to appreciate His purposes. ~ From Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb
Ever go to meet up with someone and end up alone because you misunderstood the agreed upon destination?
When we expect God to show up in a certain way and He doesn’t, it can feel as if He’s abandoned us when in reality we’re just looking for Him in a wrong location.
We often want God to show up and make a certain situation of life easier. If God determines that such an intervention would not be what’s best for us then He will not show up in that way. It doesn’t mean that He has abandoned us but that we are living with false expectations of how God will make Himself known.
Larry Crabb goes on to say:
Only when we want Him as we want nothing else will there develop in our hearts a space large enough for Him to fill. Because He longs to fill us, He hides His face long enough for us to discover how fervently and exclusively we want Him. When our discovery creates a secret space that nothing else can fill, and when we know that to be true, He enters. ~ From Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb
Until we die to all our lesser passions in life we will never come to experience the pure joy of simply resting in God’s presence.
May we come to discover that place deep inside that only God can fill with His presence!
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.