January 17

“O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee?” Daniel 6:20

“How many times we find this expression in the Scriptures, and yet it is just this very thing that we are so prone to lose sight of. We know it is written ‘the living God’; but in our daily life there is scarcely anything we practically so much lose sight of as the fact that God is the living God . . . .”

“‘One day I came to know Dr. John Douglas Adam,’ writes C. G. Trumbull. ‘I learned from him that what he counted his greatest spiritual asset was his unvarying consciousness of the actual presence of Jesus. Nothing bore him up so, he said, as the realization that Jesus was always with him in actual presence; and that this was so independent of his own feelings, dependent of his deserts, and independent of his own notions as to how Jesus would manifest His presence.

‘Moreover, he said that Christ was the home of his thoughts. Whenever his mind was free from other matters it would turn to Christ; and he would talk aloud to Christ when he was alone—on the street, anywhere—as easily and naturally as to a human friend. So real to him was Jesus’ actual presence.’” (Streams in the Desert)

Sudden insight is, generally, not so sudden after all. Instances of recognition stand atop a mountain of accumulated experience. Rarely is triumph devoid of discipline. When all we celebrate is occasional ecstasy, we fail to recognize and appreciate what brought us to that point; we rob ourselves of the deeper truths and abiding confidence that comes from practicing the presence of something or someone. Some lean so strongly into tomorrow that they weaken their ability to stand and face today with any measure of satisfaction. There is joy available for this day and this moment. Practice the presence of God by recognizing the Father in all your ordinary moments, and you will no longer be surprised by what others declare as extraordinary.

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