O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling's faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight. (Poems, 4)
“O gentle presence” are words that affirm that God is with us. Now. Forever.
I experienced this presence in a powerful way last year. It was the evening before a Memorial service for my husband who had passed on the week before. There were last minute decisions to be made. Some of our extended family had decided views that conflicted with mine. Sitting alone in the family room, I was mulling over the issues thinking I didn't need this problem.
I heard my daughter in the next room gathering pictures from photo albums, making plans to frame them. This was one item of minor contention – whether, and which, photos should be displayed. After a short period of ruminating, a tender quietness suddenly settled over me and enveloped the room. I felt a palpable presence that could only be divine. I knew it was God's gentle presence making me calm. Peace reigned in my heart. I felt it. I sat very still in wonder.
This peace stayed with me throughout the service the next day. And, of course, the display of family pictures was perfect, pleasing and comforting to everyone.
The peace, joy and power of God’s presence is the Christ, God's action of revealing Himself in unmistakeable ways we can understand, giving us just what we need, bringing healing. This divine presence doesn’t come and go. The Christ is always here with us all, all the time bringing peace and joy and power.
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