A Hand on Your Shoulder
Feb 11, 2019 2762
I was recently talking with a friend about my worries and anxieties. Some days I’m on top of the world, but other days it’s hard to cope, especially in the really tough times. My friend challenged me. He said,
“Do you believe that God is always with you?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“So,” he said, “You believe that God’s with you always, but not when you need him most?”
That really challenged me, and I understood that needed to actually practice the presence of Jesus more in my life. I know he is there in my head, but too often my heart betrays me.
So this is what I have started doing. Whenever my thoughts start to go to a dark place, or when I’m in a difficult situation or conversation, I imagine Jesus right here beside me, with his hand on my shoulder, or sometimes with his arm around me. I know that when I do that, I’m only visualising the truth, because he really is there, and that’s really what he’s doing.
Of course, it’s not easy to visualise that in moments of crisis, so I’ve started practicing in easy times: when I’m sitting in the car alone, or when I’m sitting here writing this for you. I’ve found that the more I practice, the easier it gets to remember that Jesus is with me, and how we sees me as his precious child.
For some reason, my head doesn’t talk to my heart the way it should. What I mean is that all the things I know to be true in my head, I too often deny with my emotions.
Jesus wants us to believe in him from the innermost core of our being. He wants us to trust him, not just when we’re listening to him teaching beside the shore of Galilee, but when we’re in right out in the middle of the lake in the dark of night and our boat is sinking.
There is no more wonderful way to live than to have Jesus by your side.
The reason why Jesus wants us to experience his presence in our lives is because he wants us to enjoy his peace and strength. There is no more wonderful way to live than to have Jesus by your side.
When I visualise Jesus in my everyday life, his promises become real to me:
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged (Deut 31:8, NIV).
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isa 41:10, NIV).
Surely I am with you always (Matt 28:20, NIV).
There’s nothing more important than knowing that Jesus is there with you. Especially when you have to face the difficult situations of life. How can you possibly hold on to peace and strength in those times, unless you know that Christ’s hand is on your shoulder?
Perhaps you too could draw strength from practicing the presence of Jesus. Start in the easy times, and let it simply become part of your life: a loving hand on your shoulder.
– Eliezer Gonzalez