When I returned from my morning errands I noticed an old friend was back. We have about a three-foot alligator who lives in the drainage ditch in the back of our property. When the weather is just right, he pulls up on the bank and suns himself. I haven’t seen him for several weeks and he has grown a bit. It may be time to call the Department of Natural Resources to come pick him up.
I wonder where he is for the weeks that I don’t see him. Just because I don’t see him doesn’t mean he isn’t there. He might slip a little further back into the swamp but I suspect he isn’t far away. He probably sees me more than I see him.
It’s kind of like that with God. I know that He’s always around. I know that I am headed for a face-to-face meeting with Him in heaven. It just doesn’t always feel like it. When I “feel” His presence my fear and anxiety is minimal and my joy and comfort is maximum. I just have to learn to teach my feelings to match up with reality.
I know there are good ways to do that. I can recount how in the past I didn’t feel His presence at critical times, but as I look back I can see his footsteps in the sand, sometimes walking next to me, sometimes carrying me when I couldn’t take another step.
I know if I take time to consider his creation I will see His reflection in the beauty of what He’s made. You can not look about at the green on the ground and the blue in the air and not have some increased sense of his presence. You can’t look at a grand child’s smile or feel a loving squeeze on your hand and not know He’s not just there but that He’s working for your good.
Even in the darkness of the world and the despair of the lost, evidence of the nonrecognition of Him in the world, you can feel His real presence in the lives of those of us who love Him, trust Him and excitedly await our face-to-face meeting.