Luke 15:31 "...Son, Thou art ever with me...."
It is so interesting to me how we can read through the same stories in the Bible and get something new out of it every time. As we read through the story of the Prodigal Son for a Service at church this phrase spoken by the father to the eldest son just stayed with me "Son, thous art ever with me. What wonderful words to hear from a father who cares so deeply for us.
Contemplating this phrase later that evening it struck me that in God's presence is the fulness of joy (Ps. 16:11) JOY, what a wonderful word. It is more than just happiness. Webster's 1828 defines joy as this, "Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good. When we are in God's presence we are constantly assured of the good that God has in store fur us, here on this earth and the good he is preparing for us in heaven. If joy is missing in our lives we have lost the presence of God. What a sad thing to think on, but even sadder is the realization that God has not changed nor has he left us. It is we who have left him. God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5)
Oh how often we leave the comforting shelter of our Heavenly Father's arms. He wants us to be in his presence. He calls to us to come unto him but we do not. "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings. And ye would not!" (Matt. 23:47) Can we hear the sadness in the Father's voice as he calls unto us to be "ever in His presence" and we ignore his call, or can not hear as we are listening to his world.
Help me to never forget that if I want comfort He shall cover me with his feathers. If I need peace I can find that under the shelter of His wings. If it is joy I need, I need to just rest in His presence.
I can have all of these things but only if the Father can say to me, "Thou art ever with me."