“Halloween is coming soon!” exclaimed my three-year-old one bright spring day in May. He was sporting his costume from the previous year as we began discussing the only trick-or-treating experience he had memory of and whether we would do the same again. He asked, “Is Daddy coming with us?”
My son is a daddy’s boy through and through, but that question reflected a much deeper place in his heart. From the time he was ten-months-old, my husband’s work schedule had changed every one to six months. By the grace of God, he never completely missed any important holidays or events, but for our son, the ever-changing schedule had created a lack of predictability, leading him to ask in most circumstances, “Is Daddy coming with us?”
I’m usually hesitant to make any definitive statements until the day of because it’s always possible my husband could get called in to work. On that day, however, I slipped in this resolve and whipped out the calendar to check if October 31 happened to be my husband’s day off. I grinned as I pointed to the day in question and told him, “YES! Daddy isn’t working that day!” At this, my son jumped up, pumped his clinched fists in the air, and exclaimed, “HE IS COMING WITH US!” His face beamed, and my heart melted.
All of our lives are equally as uncertain as that of my son’s, whether our schedules are unpredictable or laid out neatly in Pinterest-worthy planners. Many of us know this firsthand all too well. We have had dreams unrealized, sudden losses, unexpected job changes, and hardships that have felt like a sucker-punch. As much as we fight to maintain a sense of control and order, more often than not, our days, weeks, and years do not go as planned. I know mine don’t and when they don’t, I find myself grasping at whatever tangible thing I believe may provide comfort or stability.
If we’re honest, sometimes life leaves us questioning whether God is with us in this journey. Moses felt this too, as you can well imagine. There he was, tasked with leading thousands upon thousands to the Promised Land, as he met face to face with God one day, he said, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” (Exodus 33:15 NIV)
Can you feel the urgency of this? Moses is in the desert. The Israelites have come out of Egypt and are wandering around with no permanent home. The Lord tells Moses to lead the people to the Promised Land but says His Presence will not go with them, only that He would send an angel to defeat their adversaries along the way.
Moses knew they needed more; they needed the Lord Himself. His meeting with the Lord reflects this as he essentially says, “Scrap the whole trip! No, we have no trip insurance, but that doesn’t matter. I cannot possibly lead this without You. It’s over. We aren’t going.” The Lord then says He will go with them.
As believers living after Jesus’ ascension, we have more than a cloud by day and a fire by night. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. We have the eternal assurance of Jesus when He says that He will never leave us or forsake us. Unlike my son and the Israelites, we never have to utter the words, “Is He coming with us?” because we have a guarantee. This is true when we can sense His presence and when we cannot, because He is living in us.
That valley you’re in? He is with you.
The mountain top you’re on? He is with you.
The hospital room you’re confined to? He is with you.
The 2am feeding with your newborn? He is with you.
The tense meeting at work? He is with you.
The everyday mundaneness of life? He is with you.
There is never a moment He leaves because His fire and His cloud have taken up residence within our very beings. We need not search for a substitute or stand-in; we have the real deal. When I remember this, it changes everything. In answered prayers and in crushing defeats, I have felt His presence. In the grief of losing a loved one to suicide, I have felt His presence. In the despair of watching someone close to me deal with an opioid addiction, I have felt His presence. In the inner nudge to strike up a conversation with a stranger, I have seen His faithfulness, and in the everyday and the extraordinary, He has been there. Indeed, He has never left me or forsaken me, and He will never leave or forsake you either. What a joyous privilege we have to be able to say with confidence, “He is going with us!”Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
Absolutely! And I also love that Moses would not step one toe into the Promised Land unless God was going before him. Thanks for this reminder that there is nothing on our calendar that God is not part of, and, as He is not subject to the tiny square boxes of the calendar, He has gone before us into our plans and there are no surprises for Him.
Blessings to you, Courtney. Today when I am “pretending to enjoy working out,” I will be smiling and thinking about that phrase in your bio.
Yes! Moses knew he needed God! How it would change things if I always, always remember that as well! I love your comment about there being no surprises for the Lord. A dear friend of mine always says that when we talk and it is a wonderful reminder of Who is in control.
And yes! I talk a big game sometimes about how much I just loooove interval training but in reality, I like the couch better ha!
Thank you for stopping by to read – I hope you have a great weekend!
So beautifully written. Privileged to know this incredible woman of faith who regularly points me closer to my Heavenly Daddy. Love you, Court!
Cath!! I love YOU, friend! Thank you for all of your encouragement. Watching you go after your goals and dreams inspires me so much. And LORD KNOWS I wouldn’t be where I am with Jesus without you!
God promised to never leave me nor forsake me & He always keeps His promises. I feel God’s presence clearly in the early mornings when the house is quiet as I read scripture & devotions like this. Thank you Courtney for sharing this beautiful message of the morning. May God bless you & your family!
Oh I love those quiet mornings before everyone is awake. Just Jesus and hot coffee. Makes all of the difference in my day. Thank you for stopping by to read! Have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for stopping by to read! Have a wonderful day!
Kathy Cheek, Devotions from the Heart says
I start my day every morning reminding myself of this truth, that God is with me and that I trust Him with all my heart.
That sounds like a fantastic way to begin each day! It just makes all of the difference to remember that the Lord goes with us always!
Thank you for the reminder and thanks be to God that he is always with me through good times and bad, when I’m doing well and on track with our plan (study), when I’m knee deep in stress, bills, anxiety and when I’m sinning. Asking for forgiveness he’s with me! Every.second. Of. every. Day – He is with me, Praiss God! And thank you for this post!!
Yes! In good and bad! How comforting to know that He is always there for us to call upon and that he will never forsake us. I wish I could fully wrap my mind around that truth on this side of Heaven! Oh how it changes things!
Lynn Koukal says
Amen and Amen
Blessed blessed Assurance, oh what a Savior
Amen!! Have a wonderful weekend, Lynn!
Lynn Koukal says
In me, with me, for me.
Thank you Jesus
Pearl Allard says
I’ll raise my teacup to that! I love your son’s exuberance. 🙂 This is beautiful, Courtney! Thank you for this needed reminder.
Yes! Cheers! And oh man, he is very expressive, particularly when he is excited about something! Thank you for stopping by to read! Blessings to you!
Francee Strain says
Amen! Beautifully said. Great insight shared to equip the Body of Christ.
I recently published a book (No Ordinary Invitation: Called to Live a Life of Eternal Purpose) and spent some time expounding on Exodus 33:14. We have a beautiful opportunity to invite Him to be with us. We can do amazing things when God’s presence is with us, and thus, we have no reason to fear or make excuses about our lack. His power is great, and He fills His children.
I love your comment “we have no reason to fear or make excuses about our lack”. Such a profound truth! Your book sounds fantastic, what a great topic that I’m sure is encouraging many!
Beth Williams says
This world is so unpredictable. One day on top of mountain all is well & the next day you get news that sends you crashing to the valley. Praise God He is there with us both times. There are times when people ask us to do things we feel inadequate to do. He is there giving us strength to move forward. Despair & unhappiness are tools of the enemy. We need to push those thoughts to the curb. Just remember He is with us always & everywhere. All we have to do is look up & cry out to Him. No need to check schedules. He is always available.
Oh I love this – “No need to check our schedules. h=He is always available.” SO.TRUE. It’s incredible that a God so huge would sit with me, walk with me, cry with me, and just BE with me all of the time. Blessings to you!