Wednesday, May 22, 2024

In God’s Presence - Martin Wiles

In God's Presence
She had a sister named Mary. Mary sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he said. Luke 10:39 NLT

We vowed we’d remain the best of friends, but distance fought against us. We attended church together, worked with the youth together, and ate at each other’s house almost every Saturday night. Don and Tessa Lisa were our best friends.

Then, one day, we received shocking news. They were moving. Originally, Tessa hailed from Denver, Colorado—almost clear across the United States. She and Don had met when he settled there after helping a friend move. They had moved back to South Carolina for him, his brother, and a cousin to begin a construction business. Now, the Denver National Airport—where he once worked—offered him a job. We promised each other distance wouldn’t separate us.

Initially, we called each other frequently. They even flew us out two times for a week of visiting. But eventually, the calls became more infrequent. We each got busy with our lives, and voicemail messages became more common than actual conversations. Before long, once-a-month conversations became the norm. Even then, it wasn’t the same. Presence was missing. Tech conversations can’t replace actual body and time spent together.

Martha and Lazarus had a sister who had her priorities in order. Mary could hear stories about Jesus, busy herself serving him like Mary, or simply revel in Jesus’ presence. Mary chose the latter. This would nurture her relationship with him more than anything else.

What Mary knew, I’ve had to learn, too. I can busy myself serving God in many capacities. Opportunities to do good abound. But the doing can’t replace what happens when I choose to sit in his presence. As I do, I may pray, read his Word, meditate, or simply listen for him to speak to my Spirit. The key, however, is reveling in his presence.

Getting alone with God is essential for spiritual health, as presence is necessary for friendships to develop and grow. Having a plan, a time, and a place ensures we’ll not neglect the power found from remaining in God’s presence.

Father, may my goal be to stay in your presence, where I can be taught, loved, and nurtured. 

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