By Leila Halawe
A little while ago I was scrolling through Facebook and stumbled across the below picture of Jesus and a little man looking for Him:
It was a picture that made me smile in its simplicity and truthfulness and reminded me of a blog post I had read a little while ago by a Christian author who talked about God and His presence during hardship. In this post, the author talked about how at times she doubted God during her valley seasons because she couldn’t feel or hear Him, and she was wrestling with holding on to the promises God had made to her and believing that God would be faithful. It was a comment that resonated with me because to be honest, I had felt that very thing. While I pondered that thought, I started to reflect on some of the situations that I had been in where I doubted God was near and as scene after scene flashed through my mind, one thing became very apparent; in every situation, despite not hearing Him, He was still there. I just wasn’t looking closely enough.
We so often get caught up in what is happening around us that we lose sight of God, despite Him being right next to us. When heaven is silent, discouragement can easily become a familiar companion, pulling us deeper into despair or stress or pain while simultaneously pulling us further and further away from God. I don’t know if anyone else has felt this, but I know that I have and during those times, it becomes so hard to talk to God, let alone hear from Him.
Yet God is gracious. He is loving. He is a good Father and has a heart that is for us. As I reflected more on my past hurts and situations of hardship, I started to realise that it was during those times that He held me firmly in the palm of His hand, I just didn’t know it. There were times that He was so close but in my hurt, I couldn’t see Him. Yet He never walked away. In Deuteronomy 31:8 we read, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (ESV) And He is faithful to fulfill that promise. He doesn’t leave us. He doesn’t forsake us. He goes before us always. He is always near. Always.
King Solomon talked about there being a season for everything, and “a time for every matter under heaven;” in the Book of Solomon and he is right, there is a season for everything, be it good or bad, hard or joyful, life or death. And in every season, God is there, walking with us. He walks with us in times of joy and goes before is in times of hardship. He meets us in every season and rejoices when we rejoice and weeps when we weep. He is with us. He is with you.
Whatever your day may look like as you read this, I pray that you would feel His presence and have a touch of His abundant love for you. If you’re reading with this joy in your heart, may He increase it. And if you are reading this with pain in your heart, I pray that you would rest your heart against His and let Him minister to you in a way that only He can, because He is with you. Always, and to the end of the ages.
Leila (Lays) Halawe is a Sydney based coffee loving nonfiction writer and blogger. She has published a short devotional, Love By Devotion, and shares her views on life and faith via her blog page Looking In . You can connect with her via Facebook at Leila Halawe Author and via Twitter at Leila Halawe.