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"He will not fail or forsake you."

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

What does it mean to “be present,” to “show up?” It means being not only physically present - with a person (or even virtually, as technology has shown us), but being emotionally present. In my career as a school counselor, it has been on too many occasions that I am called to comfort those who have lost a loved one (to suicide, overdose, especially). I cannot begin to imagine the pain that someone must have felt where they felt so desperate that they felt they had no other option but to take their life, or an addiction so strong that they could not weigh the risks with taking a lethal substance.

What does one say in these situations? Rather than planning what to say, I rely on the Holy Spirit, our Comforter (John 16:7: "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you,"). There is joy in knowing that we are not alone. We do not have to handle things by ourselves. God has not abandoned us, and Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be present for believers after he ascended to heaven. Praise God!

Dear Lord, thank you for providing us with an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who can guide us, help us, and comfort us. We repent for not fully relying on you. Help us to be “the hands and feet” of your Son to the World. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About Holly Banner

Holly is a Lay Delegate to Annual Conference, and on three other St. Thomas committees. She and Rich will celebrate their 28th Wedding Anniversary in April. They have three adult children: Mitchell, Brendan, and Miranda. Holly enjoys taking walks, being active, traveling, and learning languages.

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