Thriving in God’s Presence

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

This morning the winds howled outside, snow and rain crashed against the windows, and I woke up thinking of a story told to me years ago.

The story took place on a farm in early April. The farm animals were scattered through acres of fields when an end of season snowstorm came in fast. Skies darkened, snow fell. Four inches, 8 inches, and it kept coming. The kids and their parents had gone into the fields to bring in as many of the livestock to the barn as possible. By the time most were safely in, the snow was falling so hard that the barn and house couldn’t be seen. Mom and two daughters were in the barn getting the animals settled. Two sons were still somewhere in the field, and the dad had gone looking for them. The boys later told of how they found a fence and followed it until they felt the familiar gate, which is where Dad found them. Dad had tied a rope around himself and each of the boys so they wouldn’t get separated, and they slowly made their way in the direction of the barn. They were guided by occasional sounds from the barn that weren’t blown away by the wind. When safely together, the family each held onto a rope with Mom in the lead and Dad at the back making sure no one got lost. Offering encouraging words and their presence, the parents eventually got the family safely back to the house where they waited for the storm to end.

When going through hard times, or simply just going through life, none of us can do it alone. The good news is that we don’t have to. We have God…. who promises always to be present with us. Like the parents in the snowstorm, God stays with us in all situations. We are God’s beloved sons and daughters, part of God’s family. God promises to be our refuge, shelter, and encourager. We can thrive in life because God is WITH us and God is FOR us.

As you go through each day this month, spend some time simply focusing on God’s presence. And remember that “the One who goes ahead of you, opening up the way, is the same One who stays close and never lets go of your hand.”

Chaplain Karen