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“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…” (Isaiah 43:1a-2b, NIV)

In the season I am currently walking through, it is harder to sense God’s presence, to “feel” that He is with me. The spiritual disciplines that have worked for me for a while are not as helpful as they once were. I can’t rely on my emotions, my feelings of excitement, to draw me close to God. Instead, I must rely on discipline to keep me drawing near and abiding with Christ. Discipline isn’t “natural” for me—I like to “feel” and be motivated by that. Although I don’t feel abandoned or away from God, I’m just not able to depend on my emotions and senses to evaluate my nearness to Him.

Watching spring begin to unfold, the grass becoming a brighter shade of green, the wild daffodils blooming amid the dead leaves in the forest, snowdrops popping up here and there…I am again reminded of God’s faithfulness. The seasons come each year and we can count on that—even though there are some springs that are cold and some that seem to skip quickly to summer (I have to admit that I prefer those). Spring comes. Flowers bloom. Leaves begin to grow. New life is evident.

As predictable as the seasons are, God’s faithfulness is even more certain. Even as I struggle somewhat in my present life season and am seeking to draw near to God in ways that are different from my go-to practices, I can hear God’s voice telling me that His presence with me is more certain than the blooming of bulbs and budding of trees. His presence is constant. It’s the truest of facts. It is more reliable than the seasons. And, His presence is a sure thing regardless of my feelings and perceptions.

In the last few years, God has been highlighting His faithfulness to me—I’ve shared that in these devotionals before—and it is that deeper knowing of God’s faithfulness that is sustaining me in this season. How like Him to point this out to me again as I enjoy the beauty of new life around me!

Warmly in Christ, Joy McAuley

For Reflection

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV)

  1. What kind of season are you in right now? Is it a season that you sense God’s presence easily or not?

  2. What qualities or promises of God sustain you and keep you going?

  3. How easy is it for you to believe that “He will never leave you”?

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