Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"The Lord Is There"

       I've just finished a reading of the book of Ezekiel.  Few portions of Scripture more challenge our hearts and minds as the prophet warned of impending chastening and judgment upon Israel and the nations, and as he provides a pointed description of earthly and heavenly things to come.  The book closes, however, with a simple promise of redemption concerning Israel, and the city of God Ezekiel foretells.

    "The name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there" (Ezekiel 48:35).

    No title or assurance could equal this, the assurance of God's presence.  Nor can He make any greater promise to us concerning the living of our lives, and the living of this moment.  "I am with thee" (Isaiah 41:10).  Presence transcends power.  Our Lord's doings, vital as they are, pale in comparison to His immediate proximity in the hearts of His trusting children.  He frequently acts in ways beyond our comprehension.  His presence, however, graces us as a simple affirmation of promise and assurance - "I am with thee."  We don't see Him, of course, nor do we continually sense or feel His nearness.  "We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).   Never, however, are we called to answer the question, "How is He here?"  The Word of God and the Spirit of God rather grace us with the plainest of statements, thus beckoning us to the simplest recognition of faith: "The Lord of hosts is with us" (Psalm 46:7).

   The longer we walk with our Lord, the more He leads us along pathways where we must know His heart because we cannot see or understand His hand.  The way is often hard, accompanied by perplexities and tears.  It is, nevertheless, the gift of our Heavenly Father to those who choose to recognize His most loving bestowal of grace.  He would have us know Himself rather than merely His doings.  This sometimes requires the appearance of a stilled Hand in order to reveal a sublime Heart.  Indeed, there are things we cannot know of God until the fact of His presence with us seems to be all we have.  The Lord is there.  The Lord is here.  Sometimes such simplicity is all He seems to provide.  In such times, this will be enough.  Or rather, He will be enough.

"I am with you always."
(Matthew 28:20)

Weekly Memory Verse           
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
(Deuteronomy 29:29)

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