October 8

Written by Bill Grandi on October 8th, 2019

Countdown to D-Day (my 67th birthday) is one day. And I celebrate with a colonoscopy one day before. Go figure. Guess I didn’t plan that one very well did I? 🙂

My title for this devotion is Presence vs Absence.

One of the most devastating times is when a person feels utterly alone. It is loneliness that often drives one to despair; which is often the precursor to hopelessness. Like a series of stacking bricks or a landslide of falling rocks, that hopelessness often leads to an utter lack of desire to live; which can lead a person to contemplate, or maybe even act, upon taking their life. I have never felt that alone, although there have been times I have wept uncontrollably and pounded my fist (on something soft) out of the sheer weight of my circumstances. I’m not sure there is something much more devastating than losing a job (being told to leave) when one has a wife, 2 young children around ages 8 & 4, and then again at the ages of 12 and 8.

Please understand: I am not seeking sympathy nor am I trying to justify anything. Frankly, it was my own pride and arrogance that got me into those messes. But even though I was going through those valleys, and can now see more clearly after going through them, I can say I know one thing: God’s presence was always…ALWAYS…with me. To be honest, I had nowhere else to go. My mess = my cleanup = real trouble. I NEEDED His presence to steer me straight.

My thoughts were piqued today as I continue reading John Piper’s short devotional book on Christmas (yes I am already reading in preparation for that season) called The Dawning of Indestructible Joy. He writes this:

‘Jesus came to prove that God tells the truth, that God keeps His promises. Christmas means God can be trusted’ (p.32)…’Say to the next generation again and again: God is truthful; God keeps His Word; God does not lie; God can be trusted! (p.33)

One of His promises I learned was the reality of His presence. He promised He will be with me to the end. He promised He will never leave or forsake me. He promised His presence. ALWAYS. To that I cling.

“Father, thank you for being truthful. Thank you for keeping your promises. I look back with 20/20 and see you were always there. I cling to that promise even today!”


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Just last night our small group was talking about God’s presence. Some days are rainbow days where we see God and His promises. Some days are “hide from God days”, some days are ordinary says, and some days are mystery days. God is always there, but some days he makes it more obvious.

  2. Crystal says:

    Always love to hear your raw honesty ❤ its a blessing often missed anymore in the church and as a result a lot is missed in the most vital relationships – church family relationships. Anyways – blessings! Thank you!
    Your blog did touch a cord for me though – recently I was made aware of David in the Bible’s moment at Ziklag (prior to King Saul’s death) and how vital that devastating time was in making David further into a man after God’s own heart. I just pray that my Ziklag moments do that in my heart as well – draw me closer and deeper to God’s heart vs Satan having the “party” he seeks at moments like that in our lives.

  3. God always and ever keeps His promises, on that we can always rely. He is with us through the great times, and the not-so-great, and that is something I can personally testify to.
    Thanks for these inspirational words today, Bill, and Happy Birthday!

  4. floyd says:

    Those are great words and Truths to be shared with the following generations.

    Happy colonosc… I mean Birthday…