After bringing home my first baby from the hospital, I had the hardest time leaving her to sleep alone in her crib. She hated to be put down, and I hated to put her down.
One day, I mustered the confidence to let her cry it out. I laid her in her cozy crib, turned on a noise machine, kissed her, and left. It took about one minute for that tiny human to scream louder than she does now at twelve year old! I was determined not to go pick her up, but my heart ached with her cries.
I crouched on the ground and crawled over to her crib. I sat on the floor where she couldn’t see me and I cried with her. My heart hurt listening to her frustration and panic. I prayed God would calm her little body to sleep. I whispered, “Kate, you’re okay, baby. I’m right here. I’m right here.”
While I sat by my daughter’s crib, God reminded me that he is right here for us. He never leaves us. As much as I loved Katie, that was only a small fraction of how much God loved her…and me. When we are hurting, when we are scared, when we aren’t getting our way and things aren’t going according to our plan, God is still right here. I was training my daughter to soothe herself to sleep and trust that I was close (even though I couldn’t be seen). It was important for her to learn to fall asleep on her own. Even though it hurt me to watch her get so upset, I knew she was okay and that this was better in the long run.
The same is true of our relationship with God. His heart aches when we struggle. He feels compassion for our pain. He is working through our suffering, but doesn’t always rescue us the way we expect. Sometimes he is doing a greater work (helping us learn a skill or grow in godliness). Change is uncomfortable for everyone, but God is with us every step of the way. He hasn’t left us there to suffer. He hears our prayers and remembers our sorrows.
In the Book of Joshua, God asks Joshua to step into Moses’s position to lead the Israelites into the promised land. Joshua is nervous because he isn’t sure he can live up to what Moses had done—he parted the Red Sea after all! To help Joshua lead, God gives him specific instructions: to obey what Moses taught him, and to “keep the Book of the Law always on your lips.” He then goes on to tell Joshua this:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9
Joshua was placed into an uncertain and scary situation, but God reassured him and commanded him to not be afraid. Why? Because he was with him. And he is with you too.
We will all face trials and fear in this life, but God has given us his priorities and his presence. As we seek to obey his commands, his Holy Spirit will empower and lead us. Regardless of how we act, what we do, or where we are in life, he has promised that he will never leave. Sometimes we may remain in difficult situations, but he is still with us. Even when we can’t see him, He is sitting there on the floor with us, crying, whispering, “You’re okay. I’m right here. I’m right here.”
About The Author
Jill is a full time teacher, wife, mom, and member of a wonderfully nutty blended family. She is a champion for women and passionate about the importance of learning to find one’s value in Jesus. Jill speaks at several different women’s gatherings and is a recurring speaker for her church’s youth ministry. After ministering to teachers at her school, she decided to start her blog, Shaken Together & Running Over. Her goal is to inspire women to seek a relationship with Jesus. She hopes to demonstrate that seeking Jesus doesn’t have to be complicated or calculated; that simplifying your life, making some space for him, will inspire your spirit.