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Often on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or at graduations, retirement parties, or funerals, people will give praise to someone who meant much to them or had a great influence on their lives. One of the most common things said is, “They were always there for me.” They attended every game, every concert, every church Christmas drama, and every awards ceremony. They were there for the wedding, the birth of every baby, and all the joyous times of life. The tribute then continues with some of the places and times when the person needed help or encouragement, and the person being honored came through with just the right words, showed up at just the right time, or sent a card (“just thinking about you and praying for you”) or gift (a box of chocolate chip cookies, or just the amount of money they had been praying for). Maybe they tell the story of a time when the person just came and sat with them, told them it would be OK, and gave them a hug. Many times the words said were not profound, the gifts given were not expensive, and the time spent was not long. But the person was there and showed she/he cared.

Maybe that description brought someone to your mind, and you give thanks for them. But even if you do not have a person like that in your life, the Christian has One who is always there with him. The Lord said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). He is the One who promised “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). He is “with me,… at my right hand” (Psalm 16:8). Underneath us are His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27). He is behind us and before us, and His hand is upon us (Psalm 139:5). Even more than God being with us, God is for us (Psalm 56:9). He is a “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He strengthens, helps, and upholds us (Isaiah 41:10). He will be there for us during the great troubles or dangers of life (Isaiah 43:2). And Christ is in us – “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The presence of God is a great present (gift) for the Christian, both now and for eternity.

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