God’s Presence

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February 13

Tuesday, February 13th, 2024

On my mind this morning when I woke up; when I rode my bike on my inside trainer; as I took a shower and dressed; and now as I sit and read my Bible at the table is a task-something I will do today…

I will attend a visitation and funeral of the friend of one of our new young ladies in the church.

She drank herself to death. That is harsh to say, I know, but even though only 30, her body said, “Enough.” It came to that point of her liver and kidneys failing due to alcohol abuse and past cancer treatments.

She is not alone. It is almost like an epidemic. People who lose hope. More specifically, young people who have lost hope. I guess we expect it more from an older person who can say, “I’ve lived my life. It is time for me to go.” But a young person? That cuts. Losing hope knows no age limits. It knows no status (Hollywood stars for example). It knows no financial acumen (the rich or the poor).

When did people lose hope? Please don’t fall back on COVID, although I am convinced it may have exacerbated it. Isolation. Loneliness. But I ask again: when did people lost hope? When did they lose sight of what David wrote: “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”? (Ps. 139:17-18). Maybe a better question is, “Did they ever know they were valuable to God?”

There seems to be no doubt that we are living in a hopeless generation and it is tragic that so many are living in such despair that they either want to end it all, give up, or in the case like this just simply say, “What’s the use?” and stop fighting for life. If we could only get back to what David wrote earlier in Psalm 139: “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” (verses 7-10). Those aren’t words of lament, of complaining about God’s presence. They are words of triumph. Of joy. Of hope.

Something there is just too little of these days. But something offered to us by the One who gave and gives us life.