But the Lord says, ‘Zerubbabel, be brave. Also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, be brave. And all you people who live in the land, be brave,’ says the Lord. ‘Work, because I am with you,’ says the Lord All-Powerful.
Without God at the centre of our lives, we are merely going through the motions of being alive: nothing is good enough; nothing truly satisfies; nothing is of lasting significance.
Yet it seems to fly in the face of human reason and instinct to stop scratching for survival in order to first establish God’s place and trust that all else will unfold in place. There seems to be within us some unspoken yet commonly-held belief that we must work, and then God will reward and bless us; yet in springing into self-centred, self-determined action we deprive ourselves of the blessing of God’s presence in every choice, in every action.
Can it be that we are keeping ourselves in places of drought and scarcity by not comprehending fully the wealth and extravagance of God’s simple promise: “I am with you?”
“I am with you,” links us to thousands of generations of people brought through wilderness and barrenness, exile and slavery through God’s presence and activity so that we can know with certainty what God makes possible.
“I am with you,” gives us the courage to face all that the day may bring – despite our fears and hesitation – in the knowledge that when we are weak, God is strong.
“I am with you,” harnesses all of the power and creativity of God in our work, connecting us with vision and energy and purpose.
“I am with you,” invites us to a present experience of the future promise of the full glory of God’s reign and peace: heaven on earth, here and now.
May you know this day, the immense blessing of the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Angel Armies, with YOU.