I love getting together with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We meet on Sunday mornings, and it seems we are lingering later and later each week. No one really wants to leave. As I have heard said, being with each other to remember Christ and worship Him is the closest thing to heaven that we can experience here on earth.
Yesterday was no exception. We all shared; our struggles, our convictions, our joy in knowing that God's grace is there for each of us, every moment. We shared words of life and encouragement, and sat in awe of how God is working amongst us, giving us such a love for each other, and a desire to know Him more and more.
Every week I am challenged. Every week I am edified. Every week I come away with a renewed confidence in God's promises, with my heart stirred up afresh. Oh how I want to stay in that place of happy submission and dependence on Him! But the world, my flesh, and the devil so soon creep in, threatening to wash it all away, like a sand castle at the beach is slowly dissolved by the approaching tide.
Yesterday I read from my daily devotional, "Streams in the Desert". It spoke of the difference between "realizing" Christ's presence and "recognizing" it. I will quote some of it here:
"Realizing is blessed, but rare. It belongs to the mood, to the feelings. It is dependent on weather conditions and bodily conditions. The rain, the heavy fog outside, the poor sleep, the twinging pain, these make on's mood so much, they seem to blur out the realizing. But there is something a little higher up than relaizing. It is yet more blessed. It is independent of these outer conditions, it is something that abides. It is this: recognizing that presence unseen, so wondrous and quieting, so soothing and calming and warming. Recognize His presence, the Master's own. He is here, close by; His presence is real. Recognizing will help realizing too, but it never depends on it. - S.D. Gordon (Streams in the Desert, September 6th)
I was so encouraged by these words. I hope they encourage you today, to remember that no matter how we are feeling, or what circumstances we are in at the moment, He is there. Never to leave nor forsake. When our thoughts stray from Him, still His remain on us, and His care of us never wavers. Be certain of it today.