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Ever Here Ever Near

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ever here. Ever near. I used these words to close the message I sent to inform family of Lisa’s new challenge. I used them to emphasize that God is bigger and closer than what we face. Those words have been my anchor, my lullaby, and my embrace.  I think about the people who expect God to do things their way. When they don’t see some expected change, they don’t see what God is doing. I continue to be overwhelmed where God shows up in details I would not have known to ask for.  I have no other place to sink my stabilizing anchor than in the truth that God is in my here and now.  He is . . .

 

 

Ever here. Ever near.

 

How do I know that?  God met us in the circle of medical professionals who gathered to share the truth about our new reality with Lisa. They were gently direct and full of compassion. God is never more present than when we accept truth and do not require that it be sugar-coated. I could not have heard it unless He was . . .

 

Ever here. Ever near.

 

Then, when we waited for the call to begin at home physical therapy, I laid before God my desire for the right match.  Nothing has been more reassuring that God is overseeing this journey than the fact that our very own Amy, wife of Portland First’s new youth pastor, was assigned to Lisa.  Her spirit brightens Lisa’s day.  What a gift she has been to Lisa and us as another sign that He is . . . .

 

Ever here. Ever near.

 

And in another ambulance ride to ER to check out a high heart rate and low blood pressure, conversation with the driver revealed she was a PK. I admitted that I was married to a retired Nazarene pastor. She shared that she had gone to a Nazarene church as a child. If God could give me a driver who knew something about Nazarenes, what else would He provide? I would only find out if I expected Him to be . . .

 

Ever here. Ever near.

 

Here’s what I know.  Nothing in this life is as predictable or controllable as you like to think.  And no journey detours you from God’s plan unless you willfully stop waiting for His timing and His direction. The only way to know the intimate nearness of the God who loves you limitlessly is to look for the ways He shows up in the details of an unpredictable challenge. When you recognize the presence of God in your here and now, you can step into the first part of God’s answer for you . . . His here-ness; His nearness.  Nearer than your heartbeat. More present than your breath. I could not take this journey by my own strength. I don’t have to, so I won’t. My God is . . .

 

Ever here. Ever near.

 I hope you know this truth that will anchor you in the fiercest storm, a challenging reversal, a broken dream, or the deepest heartache. When God touches you there, you will ”be still and know that He is God.” While nothing about the situation may change, His nearness will change you. That change is your biggest answer and mine. May we always know that our God is  . . .

 

Ever here. Ever near.

 

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