Composed by the fabulous story teller: Britt Snyder
We recently went on a trip to the cabin. If you know our family at all then you know we are slightly infamous for sickness following us on vacations. Like all of our vacations. So, imagine my shock (or lack thereof) when the two-year-old became super irritable on our second day away. Nighttime hit and it was clear he wasn’t feeling himself. Sleep. Wake. Cry. Sleep. Wake. Cry. We followed this pattern for a while until 2:30 am hit and he began screaming. Screaming so loudly I quickly removed him from the cabin where twenty other people were attempting to sleep.
Once outside he looked at me and the screaming went up to a level I didn’t know he was capable of. He was screaming a single word though – repeatedly – “Daddy! Daddyyyy! Daddy!” It soon became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to handle this on my own. I retreated inside and walked into our bedroom. He took one look at his daddy laying in bed, sighed, laid his head on my chest and went to sleep. He just needed to be in his presence.
In his presence.
For our son being by Daddy when his world felt all wrong was exactly what he needed. Even his typical comforts (blankie, pacifier, Mommy) wouldn’t do. He needed one thing and one thing alone – to know that his Daddy was close by. As soon as he saw him, he immediately was at peace despite still feeling quite sick. He knew he was going to be okay.
Our dear two-year-old remembered what we all so often forget. Our Father’s presence is where peace is found. Psalm 91 states that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (v. 1-2). Too often our presence is not in the company of the Father. Our presence is given to things and comforts of the world. When life feels hard, we turn to friends or worldly distractions or ice cream. If we aren’t spending time in Christ’s presence, in the “shadow of the Almighty,” then how truly lost we are when life becomes hard.
But what a beautiful thing it is to watch someone who is living in Christ’s presence and actively seeking Him in times of trial. Recently I have watched family and friends face some of the hardest moments of their lives. They have said goodbye to loved ones unexpectedly. They have watched battles with illness come to an end. They have found themselves broken. I have watched them dwell in Christ’s presence in the midst of pain. They know the words of Psalm 91 ring true. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” (v. 4-6). Christ has been their refuge and shield in the middle of tremendous grief and only in Christ has that peace been found.
Whose presence have you been dwelling in? Are you actively seeking to be in the Almighty’s shadow? Are you seeking your peace and comfort in our Heavenly Father or have you given yourself over to worry or anger or unhealthy coping habits? Let us remember that “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (Psalm 91:15)