Nineteen years ago, I said goodbye to my father. He had suffered a stroke and I returned to the States to see him one last time. He probably recognized me, but he couldn’t communicate with me. My heart was heavy as I returned to Portugal. I would never see me father again. My father didn’t leave me by choice, but he was gone. I miss my father greatly.
In life, we all face separation from one that has loved us. This separation is painful; however, there is One who will never leave us. Our Heavenly Father is always with us. Hebrews 13:5 says: ” Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” God is with us in the good times and He is with us in dark times. How does His presence affect our lives?
God’s presence gives us a contented heart in dark times. The tendency in life is to complain about everything. We want more. We want it faster. We want it our way. When things don’t happen the way we desire, we become bitter and complain. Our lack of contentment is saying that God is doing a poor job of taking care of us.
Contentment means that we find our joy and happiness in a right relationship with our Living Lord. In spite of the tough times, we know that He is right there with us. He will not leave us. He will walk with us through any valley. As the Psalmist says: “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”
God’s presence gives us strength in the dark times. The Word of God informs us that Our Heavenly Father will never leave us. “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper. ” (Hebrews 13:6) The dark times in this life weaken us spiritually, emotionally and even physically. We may feel like quitting. God’s presence gives us strength to carry on. God told Paul: “For my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (Hebrews 13:6) Our weakness says to God: “I need your strength.” God will respond.
God’s presence gives us courage in the dark times. Dark times can bring out the coward in us. We become fearful of people. We become fearful of the future. We become fearful of failure. Where do we find the courage to move forward. “I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:6) God’s presence and love will cast out the fear that so easily torments us.
As a child, I developed a fear of crossing the street. The one street that brought out the most fear was Woodward Ave. This street had three lanes of traffic each way. However, when my Dad had my hand the fear dissipated. Likewise, no matter how difficult a road we travel, Our heavenly Father has us by the hand.
My Dad has left, but my Heavenly Father will never leave me. He is with me in the good times and the dark times. Yes, the clouds of darkness may dim my view of God, but He is still with me. May I lean upon Him in the darkest night so that I may see his presence in midst of the darkness.
-Mark J. Booth-