Our family has come up against countless, emotionally draining and difficult situations over the years. There have been many times when we’ve questioned God and doubted His goodness. However, as we desperately cried out to Him, there has been one thing that has made a tremendous difference and has sustained us numerous times. It has been an essential element in changing our perspective regarding the current circumstance. Because of it, we have been able to experience joy in the midst of pain and loss. This has simply been when we have encountered the very presence of Jesus.
We have discovered that when Jesus walks with us during our storms, we can face anything! We can be totally secure and at peace when we are in His presence. This security is absolutely independent of our feelings, but it is a conscious awareness that God is with us during our tough times. God longs to assure us of His presence, but we are usually busy questioning and blaming Him when things go wrong. When we face fear or loneliness, this is a sure sign that we are going by our feelings rather than claiming God’s promises. All of our negative feelings will be gone when we truly become aware of God’s presence.
Two of our children, Austin and Alisha, have had countless medical procedures in their lives, especially over the times of their heart transplants. They have struggled with much fear and anxiety during these times, especially when they were infants. I remember taking Alisha to a photographer for her one and two year photos and, each time, she began crying in terror. She thought the table they sat her on was a procedure table, and I had a hard time convincing her otherwise.
As they got older, their fears almost completely diminished because of something my husband started doing. He asked permission to stay with them until they were sedated for their medical procedures. He would reassure them that he was there and everything was going to be okay. After their little bodies went limp, he would quickly exit the room so the doctors could get to work. Duane always appeared strong and confident in the operating room. However, after he was done, there were many times that he walked out of the room and we hugged each other. I would often see him wiping the tears from his eyes because it broke his “Daddy heart” to see his beloved child scared and hurting.
Last week, our daughter, Alisha, had another heart biopsy and catherization to see if she was experiencing any rejection of her transplanted heart. As she went into the surgical room, my husband again asked if he could be there with her until she was sedated. The anesthesiologist graciously granted his request and he stayed until they were ready to start the procedure. Although she no longer struggles with intense fear, it still gives her much comfort just knowing that Dad is there beside her.
This is such a beautiful picture of our heavenly Father. He desires to be right beside us when we are apprehensive or facing a difficult situation. He wants to reassure us that everything is going to be okay and that He won’t leave us or forsake us. I believe God also hurts and sheds tears when He sees His child scared and hurting. I find it interesting that in Revelations 21:4 it says, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes…” This verse is concerning the new heaven and the new earth, so this gives the idea that maybe there are tears shed in heaven. Could it be that God cries when He sees our pain?
Although God doesn’t always change the painful circumstances that we face, He always promises us that His comforting presence will be there with us, if our sinful attitudes don’t turn Him away. The next time you face a tough situation and wonder why you don’t feel God’s presence, examine your heart and see if it’s God’s fault or your own. Because He is a holy God, His presence will only be experienced when we are walking in purity before Him.
Don’t ever forget that you are on your way to heaven, and don’t allow anything to prevent you from reaching this wonderful destination. Although we can only see Jesus now through eyes of faith, some glorious day we will see Him face to face. You have the opportunity now to practice walking consciously, surrounded by God’s presence. God is waiting to walk with you onward into eternity. Are you willing to trust Him? Are you taking the time to read His word and are you listening closely for His still, small voice? If you do, He will bless you with His sweet presence even if you are walking through a dark and difficult journey. May you experience much joy in your journey!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)