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Oddly Ludicrous

Picture this scenario—You’re observing a cluster of people gathered in your home.  Maybe you’re sitting in a corner chair, or at the base of a stairwell, savoring people you know…friends who are practically family and maybe a bit of family you’re quick to call friends.  Sounds of laughter and familiarity fill the air.  And as conversations settle around a table and meal, you’re touched by the mere gift of presence in the midst of these people.

For some, maybe this picture is too lofty.  It’s a far out dream for community that you’ve yet to experience.  For others, you’ve had glimpses of this communing—nights, or meals, or conversations you wished would never end.  Experiences where you actually felt present in the company of others, and recognized as who are you really are.

  It’s a delightful and I daresay, Biblical, picture of intimacy.  But actually not the place I want to focus. The place I want us to go is back to the scenario of being gathered in your home. 

At some point in the evening, a friend says she really wishes you were there.  With that subtle twinge when anyone messes up our name—especially one who knows you—you turn toward her.  “What?”  She keeps talking though, oblivious, as others join in agreement.  “We texted and called.  No response.  Hopefully she’ll just show-up.”  Is this a joke, you wonder?  Or some stupid reality tv deal?  Are my friends suddenly blind and deaf?

The picture seems odd. Or oddly ludicrous. So in a slightly different scene than the one above, why does this exact scenario happen so often?

"God, we really want you to show-up be with us in this gathering…at this meal…in this prayer meeting..."

Why do we ask God to show-up, when ESV speaking, God already told us seventeen times, I am with you, throughout Scripture?  Though absent in body, He said in various ways and settings, I am with you in spirit (Colossians 2.5).  And I am within you. “For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, "Peace be within you"” (Psalm 122:8)! “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God” (1 Corinthians 6:19)? And I am surrounding you.  “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-11).  God is omnipresent, everywhere, at all times. “For from him and through him and to him are all things" (Romans 11:36).

Maybe, just maybe then, we’re missing the boat when we ask God to show-up and be with us.  Because maybe, just maybe, He’s already present at the start of our prayers.  And seated at our dinner tables, and listening at our Starbucks tables.  So what if, instead of showing-up to prayer in a posture of hoping God will join, we showed-up asking for grace enough to join Him, laying-down our agendas and blind-sighted approaches, asking for sight beyond our own?  What if prayer meant showing-up to God in all that we are, and all that we’re not, and begging for a belief in all that He is?  What if God was already here—with us.  And in fact, solely capable of being here, as the Counselor, Provider and Abba that our prayers actually desire the most.

How can we participate with Your presence today, Father?  How can we move toward You, aligning with Your spirit, in our work and rest, eating and talking, holiness and sin?  Lead us into worship that’s dependent.  Help us be with you, lest we run ahead of grace, exhausting ourselves in attempts to create grace alone.  Give us senses that recognize you, Jesus—your skin and your voice, the direction that you’re walking—and lend us the courage to follow.


Yes yes yes! He is with us! Beautiful illustration, Abbie.

This is so beautiful and so PROFOUND!!! I am patiently expecting a HUGE blessing this least I'm trying to be patient about it. I was waking up from a nap thinking, "God, it feels like you're really doing it this time. I wonder what the enemy is going to try to do to us in retaliation. Maybe my car will die completely on my way to my new job. But that would be just fine, because it's close enough to get a ride."

I woke up all the way and walked out of my room to use the bathroom. I was hit in the face by a blanket of heat. "Why is it so hot in here?" My husband replies, "The A/C is broken. Mom already knows about it. They're calling someone now."

I smile to myself, and give a little wink to God. I think my breakthrough really IS coming.

Praying for you, Taheerah. Please keep us posted!

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