Have you ever felt like you were alone? SO alone that nobody cared what was going on in your life? No one understood what you were going through? No one was WITH you to help give you strength, encouragement, or even just a bit of compassion. Most of us have been there at one time or another. There are so many instances when I have witnessed people in need of “withness.”
When I was a busy teacher and working mom, if I didn’t tune in to the running discourse of my then-kindergartener, she would reach up to my face with her little hands. She would place one hand on each cheek and turn my head to face her. Although I was answering (likely “um, uh-huh, sure, nice”), she knew when my mind and spirit were not WITH her. Those beautiful blue eyes spoke to mine, as she said, “Mama …” I knew I had not tuned in, and she needed me to do so. We all need someone to hear our hearts. Even if they don’t, or can’t, offer advice or change our circumstances, we desire someone to know us, and even share the joys in our journey.
A few years ago, a friend told me that the word WITH had become her prayer to God. I didn’t get it. She didn’t feel a close togetherness, an emotional intimacy, with her church friends or even her husband. There was something missing — that key ingredient of a listening heart and truly concerned soul. Someone who cared enough to pray with her and to share the ups and downs of daily living. Her heart ached to be “known” and understood as well as the opportunity to know and understand others, if they would let her.
Upon rereading the Twenty-third Psalm, my eyes were suddenly opened the other day. I knew that sweet and wonderful passage from childhood, but it had never spoken so clearly as it did that day. Being a timid flight passenger, and wary of all things weather-related to air travel, I pray for God’s peace upon boarding any flight. That day, I read, “I will fear no evil, for YOU ARE WITH ME.” Simple truth was illuminated. If there are fires, floods, storms, losses of any kind, God has promised to be WITH me. I need not fear. Just based on His presence with me “in the valley of the shadow of death,” I need not fear that thing, whatever it is. God promises a new dimension of reality that should replace fear with PRESENCE. I was nearly dancing in my seat-belted state! He was with me. God was really with me!
I pray that you have others in your life who are intimately with you, but even if not, remember that promise. HE. IS. WITH. YOU. Let Him show His presence. Look for Him. HE. IS. WITH. YOU.