Somewhere near the end of Tennessee and just before Arkansas I started to ask God to be with me, and he told me he always has been. It’s a prayer I pray almost by default: “Lord, give me this, this and this and please be with me. Amen.” But this time, I heard a response. Maybe it was because I was in my car and had nowhere to go or rush off to. I had finally turned off the music and was sitting in impossible traffic with no end in sight. But I felt God’s voice a little more loudly and a little more clearly than usual.
If you’re asking God to be with you in the future, to be with you right now, all the assurance you need is in the faithfulness he’s already proven to you. In many ways, this road trip that I’m on has been a reminder of his faithfulness. Physically revisiting the places of my past, college friends, high school friends and childhood friends has reminded me that even when it felt like he had left, he hadn’t. Even when I don’t remember his being there, he was.
As I inched along in the traffic monstrosity toward the Arkansas state line, I thought about childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and today. Though I couldn’t see it in my mind, I could sense a presence over and through those memories, something that was lightly holding me and something that made me feel safe. It was his faithfulness. His faithfulness that I was begging for presently I suddenly realized has been my constant companion.
I’ve always loved what Jesus told the disciples at the end of Matthew, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (28:20). Even to the end of the age. Be sure of this. I am with you. Always. It’s like four promises, and they are the only promises you will ever need, all in that one little sentence.
I’m not sure why it took a solo, 14-hour drive for the tangible nature of God’s faithfulness to become real to me. Maybe God has to get us very alone and very uncertain in order for us to succumb to a truth that has been in us along.