In this season of the podcast, we’ll continue with the theme of recognizing the presence of God in our actual lives by looking at stories in the gospels where Jesus interacted with women. Our discussions will be based around my new book – Jesus By Her Side: Finding the Nearness of God Through the Eyes of the Women in the Gospels. (You don’t have to have read the book for it to make sense! But if you want to order it, you can get it on Amazon.)
I am convinced that God’s plan has forever been to usher us into His presence. From before the creation of the world, He was prepared not only to send a Savior but to be the Savior. He was prepared to dwell among us in order that we might dwell with Him. He dressed Himself in human form and frailty and submitted Himself to a sinner’s death. Through the sacrifice of the very Son of God, a way has been opened for us to come boldly before His throne (Hebrews 4:14-16). He delights to know us and to make Himself known. I am convinced that we are welcome. I am not always sure what that means.
We read of the women in the gospels, the ones who encountered Jesus face to face—the ones who sat at His feet, clung to His robe, and sought Him in the crowd. I think that nothing would make me braver than to wrap my arms around the Man of Christ, to sit beside Him, to feel His hands upon my head as He speaks healing and comfort and peace.
But that very Man has promised us something even better. Jesus said to His closest followers, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit who dwells within everyone who calls upon the saving name of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:16).
The presence of the Living God encloses Himself in our fragile hearts. Yes, the Lord is near. No, He will never leave us nor forsake us.
He is right beside us, but sometimes He is so very hard to find.
But the truth is that the Jesus by her side is still the One beside us—the One by your side.
Response: Jesus By Your Side
You know I like to make it practical, give you a takeaway. Today, I created a phone screensaver or a printout or whatever you want it to be. You can download the image of Psalm 46:10, or just write those verses down somewhere as a reminder that Jesus is indeed by your side!
I also challenge you to start a specific journal for the fall. Write down moments when you see the Lord and recognize His nearness or His action in your life, however small or mundane they might seem.
- Luke 2:22-40
- Psalm 139:23-24
- Psalm 46:10