The Help of His Presence
I had a buddy share with me this week how he had been experiencing some significant anxiety over his business. He wasn’t sleeping very well. He would wake up in the middle of the night racked with worry about the potential for things to go sideways.
He was surprised at how much this difficult situation was overwhelming him – it felt disproportionate. Sure it was trying, but the degree to which he was ‘freaking out’ was unusual. Even though he would tell himself that it was not that big of a deal and he shouldn’t be this worried, he was still unable to sleep. He couldn’t get on top of his anxiety…
At least, not until he intentionally set aside time to connect with God. He got to the place of recognizing we couldn’t deal with this on his own – he needed to invite the Lord into this. He needed to bring it to his Heavenly Father. He needed to ask ‘Dad’ to get involved.
He shared how he took some time to sit down alone with Dad. He had no other agenda than that of communing with God: to somehow get hold of His Heart; to somehow hear the voice of the Lord. He sat there still and alone, and prayed one of those simple 4-letter prayers, “Help!”. No big theologically correct supplication. No artistic expression of his angst. No compelling presentation of the depths of despair in his heart.
Nope, just a simple cry for help.
And then Dad simply spoke, “Have I ever let you down?”
He began to recollect situation after situation over the years that were difficult, but how Dad had been there to strengthen him in the midst of the difficulties. Everything had turned out fine. Perhaps not how he had thought they should turn out, but in retrospect everything had turned out fine.
His anxiety began to drop off like falling leaves. And, he is sleeping well again.
It’s amazing how everything changes when Dad shows up.
I remember as a kid sitting in the back of our 1965 Chevelle Malibu convertible driving through storms in the mountains at night, but feeling totally at ease because my dad was driving. Somehow everything was going to be fine because dad was in control.
I am pretty sure this is what my friend experienced: he realized that Dad was in control. Everything was going to be ok because Dad reminded him how they had driven through many storms previously and things had been fine. This was simply another ‘storm’.
Are you facing a storm? Is there something that is keeping you awake at night? Is there a situation in which you are engaged that is causing you anxiety?
I suggest you learn a lesson from my friend and set aside time to be alone with your Heavenly Father. He knows what’s going on. He knows what’s on your heart. He knows what you are dealing with. He is waiting for you to bring it to Him. Surrender it to Him and invite Him in.
Then, listen. Listen for Him: a thought, a word, a scripture, a song, a memory, a peace, a presence. There are many ways Dad can speak to you. But one thing is for sure; just knowing He is with you makes everything ok.
Sometimes we simply need to intentionally sit alone in stillness and wait for the “help of His presence”. We are helped by knowing He is there. We are helped by knowing Dad is here – with me.
Nope, you are not alone. You can certainly try to do it alone though. You can actually exclude the Lord from whatever you are involved in, but He is there waiting patiently for you to invite Him back in. Waiting for you to recognize you can’t do it alone.
I heard an interested quote many years ago, “If God seems far away, who moved?”
Oftentimes God seems far away because we are far away from Him. We need to stop trying to do things on our own, take the time to sit down alone with Dad, still our heart and receive…
The help of His presence.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” (NASB)
“The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.”