When I was ten, I took swimming lessons at the YWCA. On the day of the final session when parents came to watch, my dad’s car broke down in the parking lot of the Y. He needed to stay with the car to wait for help to come, so I knew he wouldn’t be watching me from behind the glass with the other parents. I was a little overwhelmed by the deep water maneuvers, but I still did my best.
Much to my surprise, my dad later described to me everything I did. He had run up and down the stairs between the parking lot and the viewing mezzanine many times so that he would not miss seeing my performance. He was there and he was smiling, but I didn’t know it.
In the same way, even when we do not know it, God is with us and is eager to be with us. We cannot chase away God as we may have chased away others. God remains a steady presence, almost like the beating of our heart. Scripture calls God’s love steadfast—unwavering and unfailing. God sticks with us, no matter what.
We live a with-God life, and the more we embrace this reality, the more confidence in God—that is, faith—we will have in everyday life. In that confidence, we practice awareness of God’s presence and let God guide us as never before. We can sense God’s hand leading us in the most ordinary things and holding us no matter what.
Thank you, God, for never leaving me or letting go of me. I am never truly alone. Help me to sense your guiding hand leading me forward, and help me to be eager to go with you. Amen.
As God promised land and descendants to Abraham, in the reading from Genesis God confirms these same promises to Abraham’s grandson Jacob. The psalmist meditates on and takes comfort in the fact that God knows everything and is everywhere. He asks God to search his heart and reveal if there are sins away from which he needs to turn. The Romans passage continues Paul’s reflection on the life in the Spirit. Because we are children of God, we cry out with confidence that God will hear and answer. Jesus tells a parable in Matthew concerning the final judgment. He says that the wicked will be taken first, then the righteous will be gathered together.
Read Genesis 28:10-19a. When has God quietly been at work in your life? How do these experiences help you recognize God’s presence with you in ordinary days?
Read Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24. God already knows us completely. What is holding you back from inviting God to search your heart?
Read Romans 8:12-25. Consider the ways you already resemble God. In what ways to you need or wish to be transformed to resemble God more fully?
Read Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. Reflect on a time when you were frustrated by God’s inaction in the face of injustice. In hindsight, how was God at work?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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