Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. (Hag. 1:13)
When my daughter struggles to sleep, oftentimes our patient presence in the room is sufficient to help her fall asleep peacefully. When I was learning to ride a bike on my own without training wheels, my dad said, “It’s okay, I’ll be right here,” and that was enough to overcome my fear. A parent’s presence is often enough both to comfort and embolden their children.
God offered this same promise of presence to his people. It was both a comfort in the face of their hardships and an encouragement as they prepared to rebuild the temple. But this promise goes deeper. This promise was offered to God’s people as far back as Abraham’s call to leave his land and follow God. The same God that promised to be with Jacob and Joshua and Jeremiah had promised to be with Haggai’s audience. God’s presence with humanity is one of the ultimate purposes of God’s plan to save the world. This presence culminates in Jesus, who is God in human flesh, and Jesus promised to be with his disciples “always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20).
We are today’s people of God, today’s disciples of Jesus, and God promises his presence with us to comfort and empower. A life that prioritizes God is marked by his intimate presence and a willing, joyful obedience to him.
Look for God’s presence around you, then follow his lead.
Noah Cromer serves as a residence director on Southern Wesleyan University’s campus (SC), along with his wife, Kaitlin, and daughter, Elianna.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.