God with us...
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
~ Matthew 9:36-38
Sometimes I have to remind myself that the word Emmanuel means, "God with us."
It's a gentle reminder that anything I try to do involves God. A few years ago I listened to Marjorie Suchocki describe what that meant. It means that God is always present. God does not pick and choose when to be present in our lives. As much as God is saddened by the violence we inflict on ourselves, God is present with the victim, as well as, the perpetrator. God cannot suddenly not be present, and then reappear when the tide has changed.
Although we may decide to, or not to, include the Creator in our daily life, God is there.
As hard as it may seem, the choices that we sometimes struggle to make, both good and bad, God is there, living through the entire process and results with us.
The whole idea of God's omnipotent presence reminds me that when Jesus reminds the Disciples that he would be present always, he understood that perfectly, because he fully understood God's presence in his daily walk.
It's not easy thinking that God loves people who do evil things, or make such terribly sad decisions that hurt the human condition, but we are all faced with difficult decisions each day.
The question is, do we reflect God's presence? How many times did Jesus remark, "So that others may know You are God," as he prepared to pray and perform miracles.
Perhaps when you are faced with difficult decisions, or surrounded by your enemies, that you remind yourself that God loves them as well, and if need be, start the situation with prayer, remembering that even Jesus handled the moment by saying, "so that you may know God's power.."
The harvest is great and the workers are few. It's clearly a call to recognize the need to allow God to be clearly present in you.
I'm praying that you find the ability to see God, everywhere, this day, and that finding strength to love your enemies may invoke that presence to tangible reality. Amen.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.