Our Ever-Present God
Recently, my doctor requested that I have an ultrasound performed on my carotid artery because of some “swooshing” she heard during my regular exam. While she didn’t really suspect anything to be wrong since I was having no symptoms characteristic of problems with the carotid, she thought it was best to be proactive. Thankfully, all turned out well, but once again I was reminded of a God who is very present with us.
I kept thinking “I’m not having any symptoms” – no TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) with weakness or tingling, or vision or speech problems – no problems with high cholesterol that could contribute to the narrowing of the artery. At the same time, however, my family did have a history of heart and vascular issues. So, I consulted Web MD — and I prayed.
I thanked God for the testing that could reveal if there were any problems. I thanked Him for His presence that I knew would be right there with me whatever was discovered. And I pretty much prayed Isaiah 41:10 which I often pray for others when I don’t really know how to pray or what to ask.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
God, Himself, is speaking to Israel reminding them of Who He is and assuring them of His Presence and help. In Isaiah 41:8-9, He declared: “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away.” And because of Jesus Christ, we can claim this same promise!
As believers, we can know that whatever trial or difficulty we face, we are instructed not to fear or be dismayed. Why?
- God is our God.
- He will strengthen us.
- He will help us.
- He will uphold us.
It really is kind of hard to be fearful or discouraged when we know that the Almighty God, Yahweh, Himself is with us. I know that my courage and strength can be small, but God is my God! He will be with me. He will give me strength and help me. And, when I am at my lowest or when I need Him most, He will hold me up Himself just as He helped Moses bring the Israelites out of Egypt (see Exodus 15:6).
The test I had to have was a simple ultrasound, pretty much stress free, except for wondering about the results. But, something that was such a small thing for God did not keep Him from showing up. He was there with me. As I lay there and listened to the sounds in my artery and the steady beating of my heart, I was overcome with how God had seen fit to keep all those sounds going steady for over 62 years. Rarely, had I ever even thought about them. Yet God had kept my heart beating and blessed my life in so many ways. Somehow I knew that whatever the test revealed, I would be okay – not because of me and my tendency to worry and fret – but because of God and His unfailing promise to always be with me.
As believers, we are not immune to, or sheltered from the illnesses, hardships, and struggles that we all face in this fallen, sinful world. But it humbles me to know that no matter how small or how great our needs may be, we do not need to fear or be dismayed for our God is ever-present. He, Himself, tells us: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).