The Gift of Presence

I am currently visiting our oldest daughter and her family in South Carolina.  My wife, Susan, and I are here because she gave birth to our tenth grandchild.  We are so thankful to God for this great blessing.  We are not really doing all that much, but we are present and we are here for whatever the needs are that we can help meet.

I had a friend call yesterday.  The person had problems at work and just needed to vent.  I didn’t say a whole lot, but I listened.  At the end the person thanked me for just being there and listening.

Sometimes the most important thing you can do is to be present with people who are going through the challenges of life. You don’t have to solve their problems.  You just need to be there where they know they are loved and not alone. 

That’s what God does for us.  He is always present with those who are his. Jesus said, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. His presence is promised to us.  He is with you through the ups and downs of life. Even one of Jesus’ name, Immanuel, means “God with us.”  

I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but trust that God is with you. It is his gift of presence. He will be there for you throughout whatever you are going through and will work it for your good. “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Be ready

I read an article about an American Airline flight attendant, Patricia Sund. She, along with two physicians, helped deliver a baby during a fight from Haiti to Ft Lauderdale. It was a baby boy. Sund said, “Watching that baby being born and having him placed in my arms 30 seconds after he was born was an incredibly raw and emotional moment for me. It will remain one of the highlights of my flight service career.”

I wonder what she was thinking when the woman went into labor. My first reaction might have been, “Now wait a minute, women this pregnant aren’t supposed to be on a plane.” Rather I would have at least internally complained to myself. To be honest, it would have been because I wouldn’t have wanted the hassle of having to deal with this woman’s need. You see I’m basically selfish. I don’t want discomfort.

Paul wrote to Titus to tell the church he was pastoring, Titus 3:1 (NIV) Remind the people….to be ready to do whatever is good. As Christ-followers we always have to be ready to do good and that usually involves discomfort. We must always be ready to serve. It’s not about us. It’s about serving people in the name of Jesus Christ, even when we don’t want to. Jesus was worn out when he fed the 5,000, but he always put others needs first. I’ve got to be the same way. It’s not about me.

Did you catch the last thing that Sund said? It will remain a highlight of her career. When we serve and are used by God to meet the needs of others, we will be blessed. It will be a highlight of your life. Be ready for every opportunity you get to serve.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Francis of Assisi