Half our family left the nest years ago; we were six, now we are three.
Last month, one came by train from the east, another by plane from the west. The oldest one currently lives fifteen minutes away.
The joy of spending time with them was immeasurable. Evidence of their presence was everywhere…
Michael’s keys dropped on the table as he came in…
Joey’s tradition of doing the yearly, large crossword puzzle…
And Jon gently strumming his guitar and singing softly…
They came for Christmas, but not merely for the gifts. The gift of presence was worth more than the presents.
Christmas was special because we spent time with each other, together as a family.
They’ve all gone back now, each one to their own life. I miss them.
I miss the keys on the table, the strum of the guitar, and the, “hey, what’s a six letter word for…?” called out to anyone nearby.
They are busy about their lives (as they should be!) yet I wish they’d be back sitting around our table.
This, I realise, is how God feels about me, too. He loves when I spend time with him, at his table. Even when I am busy about my life, his Spirit is with me, but what he especially longs for are the times spent wholly in his presence, when I make the effort to stop and be with him.
When I am confused, time in his presence gives me clarity; when I’m discouraged, he knows it and lifts my spirits during quiet moments with him. Like David, I say,
“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalms 16:11)
This is so, because I am his child; he is my heavenly Father. I have found – and keep finding – refreshing for my soul in his presence.
You can too. His presence is a priceless gift – if you take the time.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)