Everywhere you’ve ever been, every moment you’ve ever lived, Jesus has been with you. He’s been right beside you, seeing it all, knowing it all, and carrying you through it all. There’s never been a moment you were away from him. The light of his love has always been by your side.
I listened to an interview with a woman who had endured such trauma in her childhood that she had blocked it from her memory. As an adult, when she began remembering, she could hardly see the images because of the blinding light beside her. That’s when she realized, it was Jesus. He was there with her. He always had been.
Looking back, I see it too. I see how Jesus was with me. He was the calm in the storm. He was the peace in the chaos. He was the refuge in the battle where I rested. He was the somehow knowing it was going to be okay, even when it wasn’t okay. That was Jesus, his light, his presence, and now I know he’s always been there.
The Zach Williams song with Dolly Parton called “There Was Jesus” always stops me in my tracks. Literally wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I just stop and I’m swept away by the words of this song. It happened this weekend while I was cleaning my kitchen. I heard the lyrics and I stood at the sink with the water running, just covered by each word.
Every time I tried to make it on my own
Every time I tried to stand and start to fall
And all those lonely roads that I have traveled on
There was Jesus
When the life I built came crashing to the ground
When the friends I had were nowhere to be found
I couldn’t see it then but I can see it now
There was Jesus
In the waiting, in the searching
In the healing and the hurting
Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces
Every minute, every moment
Where I’ve been and where I’m going
Even when I didn’t know it or couldn’t see it
There was Jesus
Where are you today?
Are you in the waiting? Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for something to change. Waiting for what seems to have already come and gone and now it’s too late? That’s where Jesus is. He’s here in the waiting with you. He’s waiting beside you with his light that gives you endurance to wait as long as you have to wait. Here in this forced holy pause of waiting, you will not wait alone.
Are you in the searching? Searching for meaning to it all? Searching for the ‘more’ you feel called to, but can’t seem to find it? Searching for what God may be doing here, but can’t see it? Jesus is here in your searching. He’s revealing hidden treasures at just the right time for you to find. He’s guiding each step as you search, leading you to more than you could ever imagine. He’s here with you, and you’re not searching alone.
Are you in the healing? You’re here, being put back together again. Receiving supernatural repair for that which has been so broken. Being touched by the hands of the Great Physician, being restored from within and made whole again after life had torn you apart. Oh, that’s Jesus. He’s here in this healing. Lean into him. He has care for you personally and his touch redeems every pain. Jesus is here in the healing.
Or are you in the hurting? This place where nothing makes sense and the loss is too great for you to bare. Where worry fills your heart and darkness clouds your mind and you see nothing but broken pieces. This is where Jesus is for you. He’s here in the hurting, right beside you, never leaving you alone. He is close. He is present. And he is strong. Strong enough for you to fall into and be carried here.
Back in the 80’s every home had basically the same pictures hanging on their walls. It was before the days of Target and Home Goods, so selection was limited to the offerings of one company, Home Interiors. Yes, if your home didn’t have it, your Grandma’s did! One room probably held the framed print of a poem called “Footprints”.
Footprints hung in my grandmas hall and I remember reading the words and studying the picture of the footprints in the sand. This was my introduction to God. These were the first words I read about a loving creator and savior who would never leave me. Of course the poem reflects on God always walking beside them throughout the journey of their life, but in the hardest parts of life, there was only one set of footprints. Why would God leave you when you needed it most? Why would you be left to walk this part alone? Then God revealed in the hard parts when there was only one set of footprints, you were not alone, you were being carried.
There was Jesus. Wherever you are, there he is. Even when you didn’t know it and couldn’t see it, there was Jesus.
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Today, whether in the waiting or the searching, the healing or the hurting, the Lord your God is with you. Yes, the Mighty Warrior Jesus is right beside you. The one who has already overcome the world is by your side. The one who is unlimited in power and has a personal, relentless love for you, is with you in this. Right there is Jesus!
He is delighting over you. Yes, delighted over you, his girl. Delighted with the potential within you and the promise you carry. Delighted with where he can take you from here.
And the final 2 sentences of that scripture are my favorite. As a mother, I understand “with his love, he will calm all your fears.” When my kids were small and afraid of the dark, they would run into my room and crawl in my bed. All they wanted was for my love to calm their fears. They didn’t need me to explain the darkness. They didn’t need me to open all the closet doors and prove there was nothing to be afraid of. They simply needed to be held in my love and their fears would be calmed.
THIS IS WHAT JESUS DOES FOR US. He doesn’t explain the darkness. He doesn’t justify why things are happening as they are. He doesn’t show us every detail of our reality to make us understand. He simply calms our fears with his love. His presence is what we need, and his presence is what we have.
Right here, you have Jesus. Don’t you feel him? Feel that peace that says “I’m going to carry you through this”? Yes, that’s Jesus. Lean in now.
And that last sentence of our scripture today “He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” To better understand, let’s take a look at a different translation. “He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
Now that I can understand! Some of my favorite memories as a mom are game nights. When my kids would take the field or the court, another side of me would come out. I would shout their name and hoop and holler over ever good move they made. I was sitting, waiting in anticipate of their next great play, then I would let out another shout. I wasn’t there to yell at them, I was there to yell for them.
This is the image of our God. He’s leaning over the rails of heaven yelling for us! Rejoicing with shouts of joy over every time we get it right. Every time we wake up with gratitude over dread, he’s shouting with joy. Every time we’re focused on what’s most important over the busyness of life, he’s shouting with joy. Every time we choose his offerings of what’s best over the enemy’s cheap imitation blessings of what we want right now, God is leaning further over the rails of heaven shouting for his girl!
He has never left you.
There was Jesus.
On the mountain, in the valleys (There was Jesus)
In the shadows of the alleys (There was Jesus)
In the fire, in the flood (There was Jesus)
Always is and always was
No I never walk alone (Never walk alone)
You are always there
Whether you’re on the mountain climbing, or standing on the mountain top having arrived. Whether you’re in the valley or the alley, standing in the shadows that darken your path and make the next step harder. Whether you’re in the fire or the flood, know this … you will never walk alone. Jesus always is and always was, by your side.
That bright light is with you. He is a Mighty Warrior. He is fighting for you, carrying you, calming you, and shouting for you. Oh yes, that’s Jesus!