There are times when I have been keenly aware of Christ’s presence surrounding me. Those are joyous and comforting moments. There have also been times when He didn’t seem so up-close. Times when we feel like the Lord is distant are usually periods when we are preoccupied with troubling circumstances. Upheavals in our daily lives like illness, family issues, and personal problems can obscure our awareness of His presence.
Recent circumstances brought those disconcerting times into my life. The sudden death of a loved one was devastating. Like the disciples caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:38), my heart cry was, “Master, don’t you care that the wind and waves are overwhelming me?” Once again, He patiently stood in the midst of my storm and spoke, “Peace.” His presence encompassed me and His blessed assurance calmed my heart.
An old hymn from my childhood days came clearly to my mind. May I share with you some beautiful words of E. J. Rollings’ hymn – Standing Somewhere In The Shadows:
Has the darkness of night settled round you
Has your hope and your faith wavered too?
Has the storm over shadowed your sunshine,
And life lost attraction for you?
Are your crosses too heavy to carry;
And burdens too heavy to bear?
Are there heartaches and tears and anguish;
And there’s no one who seems to care?
Standing somewhere in the shadows you’ll find Jesus,
He’s the Friend who always cares and understands.
Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Him
And you’ll know Him by the nail prints in His hands.
As we face unknown situations in the future, ‘let this blessed assurance control’: the Lord is near. He may be just outside our view, in the shadows, but He is close by. Faith is knowing that He is there.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, ESV)
~ Brother Roy