Walking Away

My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. —Exodus 33:14 

After winning a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, wrestler Rulon Gardner took off his shoes, placed them in the center of the mat, and walked away in tears. Through that symbolic act, Gardner announced his retirement from the sport which had defined his life for many years.

Times of walking away come to all of us, and they can be emotionally wrenching. A loved one “walks away” in death. A child moves away from home. We leave a job or a community and it feels as if we’ve left everything behind. But when we know the Lord, we never have to walk into an unknown future alone.

It’s worth pausing to reflect on how much the children of Israel walked away from when Moses led them out of Egypt. They left the heavy burden of slavery, but they also left everything stable and predictable they had ever known. Later, when the Lord told Moses, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14), Moses replied, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (v.15).

During our most difficult times, our stability comes from the presence and peace of God. Because He goes with us, we can walk into the future with confidence.

David McCasland 

I never walk alone, Christ walks beside me,
He is the dearest Friend I’ve ever known;
With such a Friend to comfort and to guide me,
I never, no, I never walk alone.

© 1952, The Rodeheaver Company

Every loss leaves a space that only God’s presence can fill.

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