God never loses you

Crowds shuffled by as my daughter and I sat and waited for the rest of our family to return from a ride at Silver Dollar City. Lauren finished her snack, so I sent her the 10 steps across the path to throw away her trash. She jumped down, to do what I asked.

My eyes never left her as she skipped across, threw her trash right in the pocket, and turned to skip back.

Then, she hesitated. Her eyes focused on the crowd, and though I could see her, she couldn’t see me. Panic flashed across her face and her eyes darted back and forth trying to find me, and I got up to go to her. As I moved she saw me, ran back and gave me a big hug of relief.

I squeezed her extra tight. “Did you not know where I was?”

She shook her head, and snuggled in for a tighter hug.

I gently reassured her. “You may have lost me, but I never lost you!”

The same is true of our loving Heavenly Father. He tells us in Galatians 3:26 that we are God’s children through faith in Jesus. Just as a parent attends to his child, God watches over us because He loves us. He knows us, He knows where we are, and He cares about the situations we find ourselves in today. We may feel utterly lost, frustrated, off-balance and unsure. But God sees us. We are not forgotten. He didn’t leave us.

Despite our feelings and even sight-lines, God never loses us. Psalm 121:8 says, “The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” There may even be times that we believe God is leading us to step out in faith on mission, and suddenly we turn and can’t find our bearings. Look toward heaven and cry out to Him. We can find peace when our sight fails us by standing firmly on God’s always-kept promises.

For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.
– Deuteronomy 31:6b

Me and my girl, together

Me and my girl, together

God wants to meet with me

Feelings do not dictate God’s presence. God’s promise does.

God may feel far away. Darkness may cover my sight, and sin or trial may cause me to wonder where God is in the midst of the mess. My senses can deceive me when I cry out for God to answer, but silence follows.

Just as God’s love is not determined by my goodness, God’s presence is not hinged upon my sight, or even the strength of my faith.

God is with me because He chooses to be, because He promised He would be.

When God set the Israelites apart, He gave instructions to Moses to make a special place for Him to dwell and meet with His people.

I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there about all that I command you regarding the Israelites.
– ‭Exodus‬ ‭25‬:‭22

Put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
– ‭Exodus‬ ‭26‬:‭34

The ark of the testimony eventually held three beautiful reminders of God’s presence and care. The ark testified to God’s standard of holiness (the stone tablets of God’s law), God’s guidance (Aaron’s flowering staff) and God’s provision (a jar of manna). Each of these pointed God’s people to their ultimate redemption through the Messiah. Above the ark of the testimony rested the mercy seat, made of pure gold, covered with the wings of two cherubim on either side (much like the living cherubim described by John of the majestic throne room in Heaven, recorded in the book of Revelation.) The ark of the testimony and mercy seat were placed in the most holy place of the Tabernacle, and then the Temple, sheltered by a veil where only the High Priest could enter once a year. That veil was torn from top to bottom when Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross and died.

God chose a seat of mercy to sit on and dwell among His people. God also waits to speak with me there. I must listen to God’s call in Scripture, above the cacophony of my circumstances.

God has never left me. He is there, over the testimony of His character, ready to refocus my heart and line up my life on His truth. He is there, above the mercy seat of the cross, where He willingly paid the price for my sin so that I could receive forgiveness and freedom.

Jesus gives me direct access to God, and the way is still open into the most holy place. God is there, and He has invited me to enter.

“I will meet with you there.”