Today is the anniversary of the day my son died. That night the phone woke me in the middle of the night. My husband called, asking me to return to the hospital. I arrived at a room dimly lit. My son was propped up in the hospital bed, his eyes closed, breathing shallowly. My husband was sitting in the bed with him, an arm around his shoulders, whispering, “Daddy’s with you and Mommy’s here, too.” The soft sounds of music wrapped us in a cocoon as we listened to the words of Kari Jobe singing “The Blessing”. “May His presence go before you, And behind you, and beside you All around you, and within you, He is with you, In the morning, in the evening, In your coming, and your going In your weeping, and rejoicing, He is for you.” (Emphasis mine) As we sat beside his bed in the hospital, we knew his time had come to pass through this life into Heaven. He had survived many medical battles over the years. But this time, he was too sick and the damage to his little body too great. He had fought long and hard. It was time to let him go and give him rest. It was hard, but we knew it was the right thing. Through our tears, we said goodbye and prayed him into the arms of Jesus. And through it all, we knew God was with us. Do you sometimes struggle to feel God’s presence during difficult times? I know I do. Sometimes I feel alone, even when I know I’m not. The writer of Psalm 139 sums up the presence of God in our lives, even when we can’t feel Him. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139: 7-10 NIV (Emphasis mine) God is with us. We may never know the reasons for the hard seasons in our lives on this side of eternity. We may never know the purpose of our pain. But we can be confident that the God of the universe loves us and has our best in mind, even in the difficult spaces of life. The song “The Blessing” has been just that as I’ve travelled on my grief journey. For a long time, I couldn’t hear it without sobbing. But, even then, the words comforted me as I was reminded of God’s presence in my life, my joy, my grief, and my healing. No matter where I go or what I encounter in my life, God is with me. If you are going through a difficult season in your life, read this scripture again and know that you are not alone. As the song says God’s presence is everywhere at all times and as the psalmist says, God is always with you and His right hand holds you fast.
(Written on June 13/2023)
Published on The Round Farmhouse Ministry FB page July 19/23 as part of their "Lyrics of Life - A Journey Through the Psalms" which reviewed significant song lyrics that represented similar psalms in our lives.