Contemplation & Spirituality, Scripture Reflection

I Am With You Always

“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

What is it about the thought that the great I AM, God of creation, the Lord of heaven and earth would seek, rescue and redeem us be so very hard for human hearts and minds to comprehend? That each one of us could be known and loved so infinitely that we would never have to be alone?  Still at times through our own estimated self worth and fear, we simply cannot rectify the disparity or close the distance. Good thing we do not have to- for He is already there having gone before us preparing the way.

From a very young age, I recognize that God has stirred within me a keen awareness of good and evil.  Both with intentions of others and situations that have potential to lead me astray, there is a recognition that assessments are not to be made merely by what can be seen or heard. Through prayer and spiritual intuition God can utilize the eyes and ears of the heart and soul, past superficial flattery and empty words. And, more importantly he can prepare and strengthen us for the battle ahead. Even if, it is ostensibly a solitary battle with our own fears.

At the age of 9, in what would be a dreamlike encounter, I came face to face with my own fear, purpose and God’s abiding presence. Suspended in a large body of water I saw a growing darkness ahead. Pedaling backwards, I gasped “Oh I know what you are, you are not welcome here!”  And while the words I uttered expressed courage, I grew fearful for I suddenly became aware of my diminutive frame poised against a situation I could not control or fight by myself. In my fear, I cried out “I cannot do this Lord! I cannot do this on my own!” This is when God then called out to me,  “Yes you can- for I AM here, and I will be with you always!”

Time and time again, when facing a challenge taking in considerations of personal strength and availability of resources we are quite often tempted to allow fear to overtake us. Looking at the enormity of the mistake or obstacle, we back and turn away,  failing to see that it is not our strength that we must rely upon. Till we realize that is, that we were never meant to do it on our own.  Albeit late in the fight, this is when the Lord is able to equip and empower each of us to do the seemingly impossible. And when we invite this life we live to be honed and perfected to all it was created to be.

Throughout scripture, we are shown from the moment of mankind’s creation God’s proven love and faithfulness.

Deuteronomy 20:1 “When you go out to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD, your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, will be with you.”

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and steadfast. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 91:11 For he will command his angels with regard to you to guard you wherever you go.

Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”

Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, Who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love,Who will sing joyfully because of you,”

Matthew 14:30 “But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things,-nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, -nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Reflect:

Where am I struggling with fear or anxiety today? Does my image of God fail to fit within the small confines of my day to day setbacks and struggles?

Pray:

Father, you hold my world and my life within your hands. You are here today and already there in my tomorrow. When my strength is not enough, you will never stop fighting for me. I trust in You, that you will work all for good and grant me the peace that I need in every moment.

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