ministry of presence
Are we cheating our children of the understanding of God’s PRESENCE by being an earthly model of parenthood marked by ABSENCE?
Ouch. That one hurts, I know. But it is the question that came to me today as I revisit memories of my years growing up with two parents who understood the ministry of presence.
Can I have a moment right here to say that I miss my mom and dad so much? This weekend is my father’s first birthday that I cannot celebrate with him since his passing last January. My joy, however, is in knowing that both of my parents received Christ as their Savior and now live forevermore in His presence.
There was not an incredible amount of teaching on the ways of the Lord in my childhood home. Yet, when I reflect on all of the things instilled in me through the example of my parents’ lives, I can say that I assuredly learned about the ministry of Presence. I am not entirely convinced that my folks were intentional in modeling this spiritual lesson. But, nevertheless, they supported us kids with their presence in such a way that we can now live with faith in knowing that our heavenly Father is present. He is as near as our next breath. The Bible says that Jesus lives to intercede for us, and the Holy Spirit is with us and even better, in us. God is near. He is present.
I thank God for my parents who set me up to have such faith. They were near; they were present in everything. How easy it is to transition from that earthly example and now understand a very spiritual truth regarding the Father in heaven.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day, you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you (John 14:16-20 emphasis added).