Recently I hugged a young woman in her twenties, a beautiful woman who had lost her baby to a miscarriage. A couple of weeks ago I sat in a hospital room with a woman in her eighties who had just had her leg amputated. The next day, I was in the home of a woman who had found out she had cancer. Tears of disappointment in each, but a radiant faith, a supernatural peace emanated from all. It was my privilege to be in the presence of such godly people.
In the midst of such heartache the presence of God surrounded these saints. Their resplendent faith bolstered my own. I was there to encourage them, but they encouraged me.
I was reminded of the words of Brother Lawrence, whose classic work, The Practice of the Presence of God, describes the beauty of living daily in the presence of God, “I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of GOD. For my part I keep myself retired with Him in the depth of center of my soul as much as I can; and while I am so with Him I fear nothing.”
It is seeking the heart of Jesus that we drink from His heart, His love and His presence. It is in getting alone with Him, away from media, away from noise, away from people, that His presence envelopes our heart. His loving presence is experienced as we pour out our heart and listen in prayer. Madame Guyon writes, “You see, the only way to be perfect is to walk in the presence of God. The only way you can live in His presence, in uninterrupted fellowship, is by means of prayer, but a very special kind of prayer. It is a prayer that leads you into the presence of God and keeps you there at all times; a prayer that can be experienced under any conditions, any place, any time.”
None of us can predict what life will throw our way. But the experience of the presence of Jesus, even in the surroundings of agony and death, is the only way to peace in this life.
Experiencing His presence,
Steve Holt D.D. MA