There is Joy in His Presence


I love this picture of my dad. I love the joy on his face. He is a kid just enjoying being a kid.

I love seeing that joy on my children’s faces, too. I love it when they forget I’m around, and they are in their own world, just being kids.

I also love it when they snuggle on the couch with me in the mornings. Sometimes we just watch the sun rise, transforming the darkness outside our windows. Sometimes we talk about the dreams they had during the night. And sometimes they whisper big questions into those quiet moments, questions about life in this broken world.

I love the privilege of speaking truth into their lives. It gives me joy to be with them.

The longer I am a parent, the more parallels I see between children and being a child of God. Just as my children draw security and comfort from these early morning visits with me, I draw security and comfort from time in God’s Presence.

I have to admit that I haven’t always viewed time with God as being a joy-filled experience. There have been times in my life when being in His presence has been uncomfortable. There have been times when I’ve been nervous and prayed loud-and-fast-and-got-out-of-there-as-soon-as-I-could. I could still say I had time with the Lord, but I didn’t really spend time with him. I threw Him my list of needs and got out before He could say anything.

I was fulfilling a sense of duty, but it did not nourish my soul.

But God has a way of wiggling His truths into our hearts, even when our fingers are in our ears. He has a way of bringing us back to our senses when we stray off His path.

Why does He do this? Simply because He loves us. Because He wants us to experience the joy found through a relationship with Him.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

The more I spend time with Him, the more I see this as a lifeline, and less as an item on my to-do list.

I wrote this poem years ago, as my view of time with God began to change:

As I sit at Your feet and lean upon Your knee, As I read Your Words to me,

A hunger fills my lonely heart. It is You I desire to see.

When I’m with You I catch a glimpse of what this world should be.

Haziness clears, what is important appears, And it is You I desire to see.

In Your Presence is peace and fullness of joy, Unlike any other place I can be.

As Your loved daughter, a child of the King, It is my Father I long to see.

As I sit at Your feet and lean upon Your knee, As I read Your Words to me,

A hunger fills my peaceful heart, And with you I long to be.

The search for joy brings us to the feet of the One who loves us beyond measure.

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