“God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ And He said ‘Say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you.’ “ Exodus 3:14
To experience God’s presence we have to live in the present. He is not the “I was,” so if we live in the past, dwelling on yesterday’s regrets, we will not find Him there. He is not the “I will be,” so if we live in the future worrying about how things are going to turn out, we will not find Him there. He has given us promises for the past and for the future, so we can give both to Him. Then we can experience His embrace in the present. He shed His blood so that our past could be clean of sin, shame, and guilt. He has assured us of the Father’s love and care for even the details of our lives, so we don’t have to worry about our future. Will we trust Him and enter into His presence right now?
God has revealed Himself as the great “I am.” He is right now. His embrace is for right now. His acceptance is for right now. His peace is for right now. Jesus wants to have His life revealed in us, not at some future time, but right now.
In the words of the late Henri Nouwen, “The real enemies of our life are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and the now. God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment, be that moment hard or easy, joyful or painful… Jesus came to wipe away the burden of the past and the worries for the future. He wants us to discover God right where we are, here and now.”