“In the cover of Your Presence You hide those who fear You and take refuge in You.” ~ Psalm 31:19-20
While in prayer for dear friends who were grieving the unexpected loss of a loved one, and searching for the right words to send them comfort from God’s Word, I discovered this verse. It touched my heart. I found myself wondering: could “the cover of His Presence” be the hidden joy and gift in any difficult time?
I had also been reading Micha Boyett’s description of why she loves Ash Wednesday so much, why it touches and moves her. Her husband replied “because you love sad things.” She corrected him and said “sad, beautiful things!”
And I thought, there is a special kind of beauty in sorrow… it means we have felt deeply, loved deeply, and lost deeply. There is a depth of reality and certainty in sorrow … it is not fake or shallow, but raw and vulnerable. And it is in that tender place that the Lord’s Presence provides such precious awareness of who He is, how His comfort and strength come close when we need them most, where we catch a glimpse of His eternal plans for us, not just the fleeting moments. And it is only the things that touch us that deeply that will change us forever.
None of us long for times of sorrow, but maybe we can treasure them in a new way knowing that sorrow works its own perfect work in His perfect plans.
Thankfully, our daily lives are not often touched by deep sorrow like this. But pressures do mount, doubts do swirl, hearts do break, and many days our strength feels small. In those vulnerable moments, maybe this verse can remind us to reach for God’s Word, to come aside from busy lives, to be more keenly aware of the cover of the Lord’s Presence – to be awed by His Person, steadied by His Words of truth, and wrapped up securely and undeniably in His love and tender care.
The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17