His Nearness, Our Good

Today, in the span of one hour, we got two text messages containing vastly different news. The first had me in tears at the faithfulness of God to save, to redeem, to protect, and to break through in light. It held news we’ve prayed for for years. We’ve wept asking God to answer our prayers and he has. Less than an hour later another text message came with heartbreaking news, news we prayed we wouldn’t hear and feel powerless to do anything about.

I’ve had this song on repeat all morning and after the first message, wept at the faithfulness of God to move on behalf of those he loves, and after the second message, wept on behalf of those whose prayers still feel impossible. The thing was, though, my faith feels strong right now, bolstered by the belief that our prayers all those years ago, they mattered then and they matter today. Those prayers years ago created deep pits in my spirit that were filled by faith today, pits I needed in order to pray with honesty and depth then, and faith I needed in order to pray with confidence and clarity.

It has me thinking about about how all my life (and yours too) is made up of mountains and molehills, valleys and peaks, darkness and light, moments of startling clarity and moments of abject doubt. Yet how all my life he has been faithful. There is not one moment behind me—even amidst the unanswered prayers—where I look back and think, “God, you weren’t faithful there.” That’s not to say I have always gotten the answer I wanted or it came in the order I wanted. But it is to say I was held, known, carried, seen, and heard. He was faithful, namely, to be present, to be near, and that nearness has been my only good (Psalm 73:28).

I don’t know what you’re praying for today. I don’t know what valley or mountain you’re standing within or on, but I do know that you have a series of unanswered prayers behind you and, I hope, one or two answered ones. I’m praying that today you feel and know his goodness is around you, above you, before you, within you, and running after you. His goodness and his presence is never far from you—even if it feels far from you. And it, not your answered prayers, not your fulfilled dreams, not your full bank account, or your stable life, is your good.

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