In the Presence of Jehovah

Gather | Devotion #2: In the Presence of Jehovah
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator

“I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise will continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

It was late December 2007. The world was preparing for the busiest, and some would say, the most wonderful time of the year. While this frenzy of activity was going on in the world, my cousin Bruce and his wife Jennifer sat in a doctor’s office in Indianapolis, Indiana. They were a godly couple that loved Jesus and served in the church for many years.  They had a strong faith and knew God was good in all things.  One day Jennifer noticed a lump on the back of her neck.  She went to the doctor, and they ran some tests. Within days the doctor called Bruce and Jennifer back into the office and delivered the most devastating news anyone could hear.  It was cancer! There were not a lot of warm fuzzy words about her prognosis, and very little hope was given. While still in the doctor’s office, Jennifer looked at Bruce and said seven of the most powerful words that have impacted my faith to this day. She said, “There’s no panic in the throne room.”  Wow! I am not sure I would have that same reaction; I believe I would eventually get there, but it might take me a minute or 500.  But here she is only moments after hearing this terrifying news, and she is ministering to her husband assuring him that her faith is still strong.  Jennifer lived six more months, just long enough to see her precious daughter graduate from high school. 

In June 2008, my parents and I traveled to Indianapolis to attend Jennifer’s funeral. The service was so beautiful and God-honoring.  It highlighted how Jennifer’s life consistently pointed people to Jesus. It was obvious that she impacted many lives.  After the service, the family gathered for a meal in Bruce and Jennifer’s beautiful home. I walked around and looked at every picture and every Scripture verse that had been thoughtfully placed on the walls. I could not get enough and wanted to know as much as I could about this amazing woman.  As I looked around, I noticed a den off the foyer with a baby grand piano.  As you can imagine, I was very curious to see what was most likely the last song played in that room.  I respectfully walked in and looked at the sheet music resting there, and I was instantly undone. “In the Presence of Jehovah” was one of my all-time favorite worship songs.  Before we headed home that day, Bruce shared with me that during the last few months, he would wake up in the middle of the night to find Jennifer missing from their bed. He would make his way downstairs to find Jennifer sitting at the piano quietly worshipping the God she knew and trusted so well.  Bruce said, he would sit on the floor next to her in those darkest moments, as she worshipped. She was not waiting to be transported to her Heavenly home; she was the kind of lady that lived daily in His presence.  Jennifer had an intimacy with Jesus that I have rarely seen in all my years as a Christian.  It has been nine years since her death, and I have never forgotten the blessing and inspiration I received from her that day. Worship has an amazing way of replacing the focus from ourselves and our circumstances to our faithful and loving Jehovah God.

“In The Presence of Jehovah”
In and out of situations
That tug of war at me;
All day long I struggle
For answers that I need.
But then I come into His presence
And all my questions become clear
And for a sacred moment
No doubt can interfere.

In the presence of Jehovah
God Almighty, Prince of Peace,
Troubles vanish, hearts are mended
In the presence of the King.

Through His love the Lord provided
A place for us to rest;
A place to find the answers
In the hours of distress.
Now there is never any reason
For you to give up in despair;
Just slip away and breathe His name
He will surely meet you there.

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