September 22, 2008
Please Don’t Leave!
“Do not leave here, I pray You, until I return to You and bring my offering and set it before You. And He said, I will wait until you return.”
Judges 6:18 (AMP)
My two year-old daughter has learned a new phrase that tugs at my heart. Whether I am going on a date with my husband, or walking out of the room after putting her to bed, or just running quickly to the library to return books, I hear the same thing: “Mommy, don’t leave me!” As she has gotten older and more aware of both my presence and my absence, she is much quicker to express the desperate feeling she experiences when I am not with her. She responds with a heartfelt cry—one that is not unique to a two year-old. Whether we are saying it to our spouse, our children, or our friends, we all know that desperate feeling of not wanting to be left.
It is no different in our walk with God. In the story of Gideon, we see him wrestling with many issues that we wrestle with today. Did God really ask me to do that? Am I capable? Am I worthy? Do I have what it takes? And we see him reacting as I think many of us do. We look to God in the midst of our wrestling and say, just like my two year-old, “Don’t leave me while I sort this out!”
The more we walk with Him, the more aware we become of the benefits of resting in His presence. We know what we receive from Him and we crave more. We have felt the warmth of His embrace and we want more time in His lap. We know the power only He can infuse us with and we want to stay connected to that. And yet, as we scurry about in our busy lives, we are likely to look over and accuse Him of leaving us—when really it is the other way around.
I love God’s response to Gideon as he desperately cries out for Him not to leave. Very lovingly and patiently God replies, “I’ll be right here.” I see God saying the same thing to all of us today. As you race to pick up your child at school, you call out over your shoulder, “Don’t leave me!” As you rush off to work, your mind filled with the things you need to do, you say to Him, “Please don’t leave God!” As you carry out the things He has called you to, needing Him more than ever, He lovingly replies, “Go do what you need to do, and I will be right here.” The New American Standard version of this verse says, “I will remain until you return.” He is a God who remains.
Gideon’s story comforts me not because he went on to fight a victorious battle and become a hero in Israel. Gideon’s story comforts me because he knew he needed the Lord and he understood his profound need for God’s presence. He experienced an abiding relationship with God that became his foundation and his fortress. I love knowing that when I desperately call out, “Don’t leave me!” He will lovingly reply, “I’m not going anywhere.” Every time.
Dear Lord, I praise You for being the God who remains. Even though I might run off, I know You are always there waiting for me. Thank You for Your patience with me and Your abiding love. Help me to draw close to Your presence no matter what is going on in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Visit Marybeth Whalen’s blog
Is there someone in your life who needs to know that God has not left them? Find a way today to share with them that God remains. He is Yahweh Shammah, “The Lord is there.”
Do you need to be assured today that God has not left you? Have circumstances in your life overtaken the truth of scripture and convinced you that God is not aware of your situation? How can you reconnect with His presence and experience His abiding, steadfast love today?
If you have some tips to share or would like to learn more about how to remain in God’s presence in the midst of the busyness that distracts us, Marybeth will be discussing this on her blog today.
Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (NIV)
Psalm 146:5-6, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the Lord, who remains faithful forever.” (NIV)
II Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 22 September 2008.