Life gets busy. We have our work to do, our chores to finish, relationships to keep healthy. We also try to have some fun along the way. Then there are all the frustrations that happen. I know. I had a really good day this week. My work was going well. I was in my sweet spot. Then comes the next day. Some negative things are said and some challenges have to be addressed. Frustrations get in the way. This is our everyday reality.
Then there is Jesus. Jesus is the one we love, Jesus who overlooks our lives, Jesus who saves us. Jesus who died for us and rose again. We probably know this. Does this dying and raising Jesus affect not only our eternity, but our everyday lives? So easily there seems to be a disconnect between our everyday lives and what God is up to in Jesus. For example, I once talked with a friend who loved God and loved to talk about God say to me, “I love my times with God in the morning. But then I have to go to work. I miss Jesus during the day.” This seems so sad and not quite right. I know what he was trying to say. His work kept his mind on things of this world and he did not sense the nearness of God during the day. I get it. I experience it. But I believe God is involved in our everyday lives. He is always present. Even when I don’t feel him near. It’s a matter of trust.
Did you ever ask God to be near, to be present? When you think about it, that prayer that makes no sense. God is always present. He never leaves us alone. One wake up call quote I read this week says this. “We mistake our inattention for his absence.” Ouch! I need to be more attentive? David was constantly attentive to God. It was said that he had a heart after God. He too longed for God in everyday life. He too felt God distant at times. Psalm 27 really helps here. When feeling God’s distance, David prayed, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek him him his temple.” (Psalm 27:4) This expresses the same desire my friend had. David is saying that in the midst of the pressures of life, he wants to just be with God, to feel his presence. But David doesn’t stay there. He believes that God is in all of life. When I complain that God seems absent, it is the time to be more attentive to his presence. He says, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13) God in everyday life. He affirms that God is there, his goodness will be known, even if I don’t see it now.
You see the nearness of God does not depend on me. My experiences and emotions during the day are not indicators of God’s presence. What can happen is in the midst of the pressures of life, that my attention can be amplified or muted. It’s in the most difficult times that God’s presence can most palpably felt and not just during the relaxed times. C.S. Lewis said, “"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
Knowing God in the everyday is a matter of trust, not just effort. David trusted that God would be near him in “the land of the living.” He anticipated the goodness of God when fears threatened him. Trust is the door to God’s presence. Life ebbs and flows. Emotions and reactions comes and go. But our trusting will keep us composed. David ends this Psalm with, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Trust keeps us attentive to God. When we trust we will see God’s goodness in everyday life.