Practicing The Presence Of God

November 14, 2002
by Garnet Schenk

Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. (NIV)

Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV)

My hobbies include a vegetable and flower garden. The more I work in the garden, the more I appreciate the wonder of budding, blossoming, and bringing forth fruit. The stewardship of caring for the garden has become an exercise in practicing the presence of God. It has moved His companionship beyond church functions, Bible study, before-meal grace, and times of reflection, to feeling His presence in the ordinary things of life.

Learning to keep company with God in the daily tasks of life transforms into acts of worship the work of digging, planting, feeling the earth between the fingers, cultivating, weeding, and picking the fruit. The Lord our God is with us. He will quiet us with His love if we acknowledge His presence.

The awareness of God's presence is part of how we delight in God, which we are commanded to do in today's verse from Psalm 37. We must never hijack this verse as a formula for getting what we want from God. Delighting in the Lord is the thing that fulfills the desires of the heart. Brother Lawrence put it in simple terms when he said, "Our only business is to love and delight ourselves in God." It isn't a matter of achieving God's presence, but of surrendering to God's presence. It is more than a habit; it is a way of living and thinking. His presence hovers around us in the garden, in the flowers gently swaying in the breeze, in a bee picking up nectar, and in the quiet beauty of a lily. Delighting in the Lord will bring us into His presence.

Prayer: O heavenly Father, we thank You for the opportunity to see and feel Your presence in the everyday tasks. Change us, O Lord, so that the desires of our heart may be to delight in You in all we think and do each day. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Garnet Schenk <gschenk@cogeco.ca>
Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada

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