You’ve got to meet my dog, Maverick. He’s a 1-year-old, 70 pound, energetic black Labrador Retriever. He’s quickly making his way up the “man’s best friend” chart…currently in the Top 10. When he chases a ball at full speed, it’s poetry in motion. When I come home from work, he’s the first to greet me at the door and immediately ready to play. And when I go out the door, he’s always ready to come with me, begging with his eyes, urgently standing by the door, and if he could talk would be saying, “pick me, pick me, I’m ready to go with you wherever you want!”

The best (and sometimes worst…hey, strengths can present as weaknesses) thing about Maverick is that he ALWAYS wants to be with me. If I leave the room, he rushes to follow behind me. When I walk down the hallway, he’s right by my side. And as annoying as that can be at times, when I go on vacation his presence is missed.

Presence is powerful. God made us to need presence. Sometimes it’s filled by a dog, sometimes by a friend, definitely by family, and we always need God’s presence. Wondering if God is present in our life is quite common. When we wonder this, it not only feels lonely, but can be discouraging and destructive. We need a fresh reminder of God’s promise that He is with us always (Matt 28:20).

Genesis 21 is a powerful story of God’s presence that will bring delight, a stronger faith, and a surer hope. Check it out before Sunday.

Take some time to listen to the worship set to prepare your heart.

Can’t wait to be with you this Sunday!

Nate Newell
Pastor of Ministry and Mission Development