How can fear have such a grip on our lives? How do the “what ifs?” and “what about?” take precedence in our minds? Fear of not being enough. Fear of losing face. Fear of losing control. Fear of not being enough. Fear of rejection. Fear of what may happen. Fear of not getting married. Fear of not having enough. Fear of adult children's choices. Fear of failure.
What would happen in our minds if we stayed in the present? Not the future and not the past. Present thinking. I have found when I focus on living in God’s presence, in the here and now, it tends to wipe away my fears of the future. Sure, I have deadlines. Absolutely, I have things that need to get done. You bet I have a list of things to accomplish each day. Here’s the thing… living in God’s presence allows me to focus on His presence and appreciate His power. As I begin my day with prayer, I pray for those things that tend to cause me fear. I bring them up to the Lord one by one. This verse really helps give guidance for where our minds are focused:
“I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 16:7-8
Gosh, the truth is my mind is NOT capable of solving all the things that often fly through it. How does your mind spin around? Work problem? Relational struggle? Unresolved issue? Parenting challenge? When we’re focused on blessing the Lord, we can’t be struggling with fear. Instead, we listen to his counsel. We invite him to help us with our problems and fears. Bring the Lord to mind! Picture yourself setting the Lord before You. He is right there. In his presence, there is no fear. There is peace.
When we’re in Jesus’ presence, nothing else matters. I get it. We still live. We still have our “lists.” We still have our concerns in life. Instead, over and over and over, we give Him our concerns. We ask Him for help. We just don’t have to do life on our own!
Is it possible to live in God’s presence, being fully present with Him in the moment? I believe it is. Let’s pray that God will give us more of a taste of this type of living.
Nancy Abbott is the Chaplain of the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.