Dec 15

Rev Gav

Coming into God’s presence

To come into the presence of God — and one can do this anywhere at any time — is both terrifying and heartening. It begins by acknowledging God and becoming aware of all that she is. In doing so, we become aware of all that we are. The writers of the Bible describe this meeting in a variety of ways. Some describe it as ‘coming into the light’, where, measured against the total purity and goodness of God — her utter holiness – every facet and corner of our own lives is laid bare. Other writers describe it as ‘the fear of the Lord’, for yes, being confronted with the reality of both God and ourselves is terrifying. Oh, how I skulk in the shadows rather than expose myself to God’s terrifying light!

When I come into the presence of God, I am painfully aware that it is I that is making the move towards a static God. I become conscious of my own previous withdrawal. Whether I consciously or unconsciously departed from God’s presence — and this is not a physical removal but a mindful decampment, akin to ignoring someone in the same room — I know not. However, I recognise that it is I that turned a deaf ear and neglected our relationship.

However, there is another dimension to encountering God. As well as the terror of having every lie, falsehood, depravity and rebellion of my soul exposed, and being reminded of all my shortcomings, failures and deficiencies, I experience the overwhelming warmth of God’s welcomeness. It feels as if one is ‘coming home’ and that this place of encounter is where I am meant to be. For my brief nakedness is met with the enveloping warmth of God’s love and forgiveness. It enfolds and swaddles me. It is as if that light — the light that reaches every shaded corner — contains a gentle heat that evaporates all that disquiets me. And a salve of tender compassion is softly stroked into every painful wound.

And so, again, I am filled with wonder, humility and gratitude at you, my God. And I pray that I will continue to allow myself to live in your presence.

Lisa-Dawn Johnston Dec 19 22:59pm

This is incredibly beautiful and reassuring…. The thought and fear of exposing ourselves flaws and all,  to perfect God is daunting and terrifying. But your description of your experience sounds so inviting and loving. Thank you x