presence.

God is big. We know that, right? He is constant and Holy and sovereign, His presence fully with us always.

But how often do we forget about his presence? The fact that He goes before us in every circumstance, struggle, day of work, and conversation. A dear friend of mine from school who is working in Memphis this summer called me over the weekend. As we chatted and caught each other up on our summers, she expressed her realization that God is already working in the schools she is working in, despite the challenges and fallenness. These were such refreshing and needed words to hear, how God is before us and already working in the places we are,  the places we long to see redeemed and fulfilled through truth and salvation.

I started to think about how different my time at work and interactions with my coworkers, my main community at this moment, would be if I walked through the doors everyday knowing God was already there, working in ways I couldn’t begin to imagine. How differently would my conversations look? How differently would my attitude be knowing that it wasn’t my responsibility to bring the presence of God into whatever space I occupied because He was already there?

God calls us to be in the world and not of the world, to engage with those around us and create community where we are in hopes to share the life and truth of the Gospel. I feel like so often I take this command to be and share the Gospel as the responsibility to bring the presence of God into whatever space I’m in during that moment. I forget that God already fills that space, that he is fully aware of the work that needs to be done. I simply need to recognize and submit to the work already happening from a Power much higher than I.

One main way to recognize and engage in God’s presence is to be present. I believe He calls us to be present where we are at and to engage in the understanding that He is working. This concept of being present is simple, but significant. It can cause us to let go of our bitterness towards a corrupted environment motivated by our perceived responsibility to save. It can cause us to take a step down into reality, to love others without grumbling, and to bask in the reality that God’s presence is there. Once we start believing that it is not our job to save others or our responsibility to make sure God’s presence surrounds the places we are at, we can then lean into the reality of God already working and do the transforming work we are called to do, love others.

We live in a fallen world filled with sin, corruption, death, and emptiness. I promise that I don’t know all the answers. But I do know that God is here and He has significantly more knowledge and understanding of the happenings of this world than we could ever begin to fathom. I know that He is working and that He takes the responsibility to fill every space with His presence, it is simply up to us to be present and love those he has placed around us in the hopes that they, too, will recognize the perfect, beautiful, healing, and glorious reality of God.

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