The Joy of the Presence
Have you ever experienced the immense joy found through the presence of God? I often feel the closest with God when I am in the midst of His creation. Last Sunday afternoon, I sat basking in the beautiful spring weather simply allowing His peace to wash over me while I prayed. Sometimes in these meditative times with God, I lose total track of time so I am not sure for how long I existed in this state. However, it was during this time that I experienced the most phenomenal brush with nature that I can only attribute to the strong presence of God.
As I sat praying and meditating I suddenly realized that I not only heard a rush but felt the sudden breeze of what seemed to be many wings. I generally don’t allow my prayer time to be interrupted but as this was truly an unusual sound and feeling I felt I needed to make sure the rapture wasn’t occurring and I was left behind. As I opened my eyes there in front of me was the most beautiful sight. A multitude of sleek tan-coloredÂ waxwing birds with bright yellow wings tipped in red fluttered all around me seeking water from the fountain.
I sat in total stillness and complete awe as I watched these glorious birds. They quickly flew in and out by the drove fluttering all around landing only for a moment before rapidly leaving. In and out, back and forth, they came and went as I simply took it all in. The feelings of immense joy bubbled up as I was privy to watch this creation of God’s as if I were an invisible spectator.
Marveling in His Presence
I marveled at this glory of God that IÂ experienced and attribute it fully to the presence of God being made known to me. God’s presence is continuously around us but there are times in which His presence is known stronger than others. It is during these times that a strong joy boils up from deep inside as He brings us out into the light so we can bask in His glory.
A life lived in the companionship of God hasÂ many benefits and joys. The benefits of trusting and belief in God with what He offers to us often isn’t just for the eternal realm. For these benefits extend to both the here and now on earth as well as into eternity. We can experience the fullness of joy by being in His presence every day. As we come to know Him better, the pleasures of life reveal themselves before our eyes as our purpose becomes clearer.
It is important that we do not forget the joys of life that are found here on earth simply by inviting the presence of God into our life. It is very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this world that is speeding along and often seems like it is out of control. But all that stress can find relief by simply dedicating time each day to spend in the glorious presence of God. It is a refreshing vacation from life that is obtainable every day and offers great refreshment through a simple commitment.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever. Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
The Benefits of Commitment
So maybe you’re thinking that sounds great but I don’t have the time or my circumstances doesn’t allow joy. But know this, the power of God refreshes and restores no matter the situations presented. This is not a new revelation for a third-century man that awaited death penned these last words to a friend:
It’s an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it, a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. As a group and individually they are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls and have overcome the world. These people are the Christians, and I am one of them.
It is the presence of God that you must seek if you want refreshment and joy. It is only through Him that you can fill with joy daily.Â But you must take the time to invite Him to do so. Mini moments with God are available throughout the day no matter what clamors for your time. You will find that you actually seem to gain time as you learn to recognize the joy of God’s presence in your daily life.
As you bask in His presence you learn that God loves you so very much that He wants to take care of you by directing your life if you will simply allow Him to do so. As you commit time to Him, you will experience the most intense moments of joy that provide you glimpses into eternity revealed right here on earth. God can and will give you all you need if you will allow Him to be the giver.
The Secret Revealed
A boy, without much choice in the matter, tagged along with his mother on a shopping trip to the local store. The shop owner felt a little sorry for the boy and invited him to choose a handful of suckers from his jar on the counter. The boy, uncharacteristically, held back. So the shop owner pulled out a handful for him. When the boy and his mother left the store, she turned to him and asked why he had suddenly been so shy and didn’t take a handful of suckers when offered. The boy replied, ”Because his hand is much bigger than mine!
Because God’s hand is much bigger than yours too it is important that you allow Him the ability to offer you handfuls of joy for this is the secret of life. Challenge yourself to take theÂ time to allow God’s presence to surround you every day. Experience Him through your belief and invitation finding intense joy by allowing Him to direct your life. In return you will receive not only the gifts of pleasure of living in eternity but in every day on earth as well. Allow the great love of God to give you comfort as you recognize that He wants you to experience the greatness of life not just in eternity but with Him today.
Love in Christ,
There is more joy in Jesus in 24 hours than there is in the world in 365 days. I have tried them both.
Credits Today in the Word. (1988, June). Third Century Man Today in the Word, p. 18.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Have you experienced joy in the awesome presence of God? What benefits have you experienced by setting aside a time commitment to God each day? Join us in theÂ discussion on the pleasures of life experienced on earth.