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While visiting Los Angeles, California, my home, in 2010 I was looking forward with great anticipation to attending my home church and hearing my pastor and mentor Dr. R. Johnson preach a powerful word from the Lord. But my anticipation turned to disappointment when I discovered that Dr. Johnson was not there that day. “Some other guy”, a substitute was preaching.
Shortly after that, I was scheduled to preach at my church in Atlanta. As I stood in front of the congregation, I realized that now I was the “the other woman” and they might be disappointed because they had come to hear the pastor, not me speak.
While we find comfort in those we depend on in life, we have to recognize that at times they can be substituted. But the One we need the most, the One on whom we depend for life, is always present (Ps.139:7-8). When we have a heartfelt desire to enter God’s presence during our quiet time with Him, He is always there: “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He will hear my voice” (Ps. 55:17).
God is omnipresent He needs no substitute. His ears are always open to your cry.
No substitute will do for me please ask me why. Why? I am glad you asked, I remember all the times when I cried out to the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ in prayer during my time of need, He did not send a substitute, He came Himself. No my circumstances did not change immediately. But I did feel a strength and courage I did not have before that allowed me to keep pressing on regardless of how I felt. I knew in my heart that it was the presence of the Lord.
Ok so what? Well, a substitute could not fix my broken heart, make a way out of no way for me, give me hope when I felt hopeless, be a company keeper when I was lonely, save my soul and regulate my mind to keep me from losing it. Oh, did I tell you that my God paid my child’s college tuition when I was unemployed and she graduated on time… Praise the Lord! Only the One who give us life can sustain life. You ask, “how can I be so sure?” I’m like King David (Psalms 37: 25) “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”
May the peace of God rest upon your shoulders like a dove.
Rev. Debbie Wallace