I have often shared things that I have been reminded of through our cats. Today I want to share something that came to mind through our dog, Bud. Bud is big and black, a great defender, (he once got a would-be intruder down and held him by the neck on the ground) loving to his family.
Like most pets, Bud loves the company of his human family. He wilts when we leave the house and wiggles in delight at our return. The other day I was sitting in a chair typing on my laptop. I glanced down at the floor and there was Bud, just staring at me. His brown eyes were bright, his mouth parted, revealing his set of jagged teeth, tongue hanging out. “Are you smiling at me, Bud?” I reached down to pat him on the head, and then returned to my work. After several moments I glanced down again. He was still staring, just seeming to soak up the joy of my presence. This touched me very much. I set my laptop aside and gave Bud a tummy rub; a love of his.
It was then that I began to think of how it is when I come to God, when I think upon Him for no other reason than to enjoy His presence. Is God as pleased when I rest in Him as I am of Bud when he wants nothing but to bask in my presence? Oh, yes! I Samuel 12:22 tells us, “It has pleased the Lord to make you His very own people.” Why did He make us His own? Why did He adopt us, making us His very own children? He loves us with a passion.
Think of someone you love deeply. Don’t you love the moments when you can be in each other’s presence? Isn’t there a joy that leaps in your heart when you walk in the door and there is the someone you love, smiling, eyes shining, happy in the fact that you just came into view? I realize that not all family relationships are a joy. I’m not referring to those today. I’m referring to those in whose presence you joy. It could be a family member or a dear friend. The point is, there is joy just in being together.
Never forget how much your heavenly Father adores your presence when you simply come to be with Him, to bask in the beauty of His presence. There’s a bonus, too, when we develop the habit of being aware of God and living in the beauty of His presence: it keeps our thoughts focused on truth, on the One who is whatever we need when we need it.
When the things of life come crashing down around us, the habit of basking in God’s presence will keep us near to the One who is our help in times of trouble, who is our defender in the presence of enemies, who is our comforter in times of hurt, who is our guide when we need direction.
The things of this world cannot give us perfect wisdom and guidance, lasting peace and courage, quiet joy in the midst of emotional pain. We are also reminded of that very thing in I Samuel 12: 21, “Don’t go focusing upon things of this world that cannot help or rescue you — they are useless.” Things of earth may give temporary peace, but lasting peace and perfect peace comes only through the One who loves us so very much. What a beautiful reason to want to simply come into His presence just to enjoy Him for being Him.