I have known that I wanted to start writing here again, but have been having a hard time getting myself together to do it regularly. Today, I knew I would write, but wasn’t sure about what (too much to choose from), and this is what I landed on, so these words are meant to be for today.
This morning as I got ready for the day, I wanted to fill the silence with words about God, so I tapped on my Pray As You Go app (haven’t listed to it in months). The story of David was being read from 1 Samuel 17. I was so struck today by the fact that David was only a boy (probably 15 years old). I was befuddled by his adamant faith and I wondered, ‘How was he so SURE that he would defeat Goliath?’ I mean I know his assuredness came from believing in the power of God, but how did he KNOW that God’s power would fight through David in those future moments, taking Goliath to his defeat? Maybe we can relate in the TRUST that God has the power and the ability, but how often can we say that we KNOW He is going to do it? And I longed for this faith of David in my own life. And I pondered it. Did God speak to him in a specific way that isn’t recorded? Did David have chills from the Holy Spirit when he saw Goliath and he just know that this was his calling? Was there a promise God had given him in a dream? He must have either been so certain that God would defeat Goliath or he was so sure of God’s presence that even if David died, he was confident and at peace with his decision. Either way, he was sure of God. That’s for sure. 🙂
These words stood apart to me in regards to David’s certainty. ” The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” He had rescued sheep from his flock out of their literal mouths. He went after them, struck them, and rescued the sheep from their mouths. (v. 35). What in the world would give him the courage to chase after bears and lions?? What could possibly be the reason he would think he could overtake them and save his sheep? He is only 15 years old! Insanity? Pride? His older brother does say to him, “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is…” Ouch. The courage of someone with nothing to lose? Recklessness? Maybe a little bit of all of the above? But at its root, it has to be God’s presence in his life. Nothing can make us do more insane and outrageous, “foolish to the world” things than God’s presence. Nothing else can give us this kind of absurd, nonsensical courage.
And that is my word for this year. Presence. I had a list written of possibilities that included: gentle, mystery, mindful, treasure, ponder, cherish, shift, reset, present, and presence. I was leaning towards “Reset.” I definitely need one. I am sure a lot of us do. But my heart was drawn to presence. And I knew that was where my heart needs to be this year and every year. Always brought back to His presence. That is always where the rest, the joy, the peace, and the courage to do “it” (whatever that may be for us) no matter what anyone else thinks is. I also love this word as a double meaning, also focusing on being PRESENT with my husband and my kids. Living in the moment. This is so challenging for me. But again, when I am IN His presence and focused ON His presence WITH me, being present happens more gently and naturally.
Today when I was listening to the app, the answer in my heart as to how David knew he would defeat Goliath with God’s power was that He remembered God’s presence and faithfulness in his life up to this point—in the lion and bear stories, and most likely other stories he didn’t share. A couple hours later, I opened my email and was drawn to this book below. Beautiful cover and beautiful soul-stirring words that drew me in. I went to amazon to check it out and saw the subtitle. “How remembering God’s presence in our past brings hope to our future.” And it was a jolt because it was almost word for word what I had been pondering about David’s faith. So, I knew that it was my next book and I can’t wait to see what God speaks to me through it.
My other confirmation came a couple days ago. These were in an email (oops on their “e” :)). Okay, not reset then. Presence. And all of the words I was considering go under the umbrella of His Presence, because His Presence covers it all. And I wanted to share this with whoever reads this today.
In chapter 16, David was anointed to be the king. “Then the Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; he is the one’….And from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” I wonder if David killed the bear and the lion after this moment. I don’t know. But I know that David based his confidence in defeating Goliath on what God had already done for him, how He had already been with him and rescued him. But even if David had been killed, he went forward in strength and assuredness because of the promise of God’s presence, no matter what. When we can’t remember what He has DONE, can we remember who He was? That’s still who He is, now, in our unique and different challenging circumstances. His Presence IS His faithfulness to us.
Side note: 15 years old. Right in between two of my sons, ages 13 and 16. Our children are never too young for God to speak to them, to tell them to rise up, to call them to Himself and His Presence. I can rest in that today, because His Presence is with me and His Presence is with them.
2 thoughts on “Remembering God’s Presence”
Thank you for these beautiful and challenging words of encouragement and challenge. Just another reason why David, despite his failures and sins, was called a “man after God’s own heart.” Lord, may I have the faith and confidence of David as I face life’s uncertainties.
Thanks so much, Lynn. And Amen.