Desiring God's Presence
Exodus 33: 15 ‘If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.’”
Having moved 2000 miles from VA to TX, I dove into the study of Moses and I assumed the Lord would ask me to stop my complaining. I just survived a hot Houston summer, bugs the size of small rodents, and a record flood and hurricane season, but hey who is complaining? Of course the passages on the grumbling Israelites would put me in my place. Much to my surprise, the Lord had a bigger issue in my heart, which needed tending to.
Week after week, I was continually drawn to Moses himself as so many aspects of his life and his walk I admired and desired to strive towards. I spent many hours thinking about how desperately Moses desired the Lord’s presence above all and it was this very thing, his intimate face-to-face relationship with the Lord, which made the difference in his life. The Lord promised Moses victory over his enemies, promised him land flowing with milk and honey BUT Moses knew the better choice. Moses was willing to give up all those things and stay camped in the desert if the Lord refused to go on with them. Moses wanted the Lord’s presence!
This made me really think about where my heart truly was. If I was promised victory over my battles or promised days filled with peace, joy, contentment, self-control, comfort, and security; however, I was given the caveat that the Lord’s presence would not be with me. How would I respond? Do I truly want Christ and only Christ? Is He truly where my complete satisfaction lies? Or deep in my heart do I desire more…
The year started off very smoothly and I was feeling quite proud of myself, and how quickly I seemed to have settled into this new life as a Texan. Then I encountered some rough waters and began to struggle, as I faced a depression, which seemed to come out of nowhere. The Lord began showing me that in my impatience for the Lord to bring healing to my heart, I began to build my own boat to set sail in. Needless to say, I’m not very good at building boats. I was trying to re-create what I had before. Signing up for everything and anything where maybe I could meet a friend and hoping to try to fit in and feel apart of something. I found myself decorating and re-decorating my house but with no one to entertain, working out until my knees gave way, serving my family beyond what I should and in all of this trying to feel purposeful once again. One by one idols where being created, attempting to fill the void only God should fill. So one by one God began taking apart this boat that I had built leaving me floating on the water with Him alone. That’s exactly where He wanted me.
Like Moses desperately desiring the Lord’s presence, Christ wants me to desperately seek after Him. He desires that I find my purpose and fulfillment in Him alone. Christ wants to be the boat that I climb into each day. He will enable me to ride the tossing waves of adversity, to be still while floating on the tranquil waters of patiently waiting, to not fear when the storms clouds of uncertainty roll in and to be anchored firmly when my doubts want to pull me away. Unlike all those other boats I try to construct, Christ is the only one who fills my heart with true satisfaction. My circumstances will change but when I am finding fulfillment and purpose in my perfect redeemer, Jesus Christ, I am able to remain anchored securely.
What boat are you setting sail in today?
Mary and her college sweetheart, Matt, have been married 27 years, have lived in WI, VA, TX, and they currently live in Ann Arbor, MI. She is learning to embrace the “empty nest” years along with the travel which goes along with having her three grown children on both the east and west coasts. Mary enjoys spending time with her family, wherever and whenever they can gather, as well as reading, studying the Word, and spending time soaking in the beauty of God’s creation.