“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) God is with us in the high times and in the low.
In the course of his life, Jesus had remarkably wonderful high times, times of mighty miracles, of walking on water, walking with his disciples, and sharing meals with people searching for truth. The Scriptures do not record Jesus’ feelings about those events. We can, however, imagine that they were times for joy as he watched the seed of God’s kingdom come alive in people’s lives. During his short life, he also had incredibly low times. After he was told about John the Baptist’s death, he went away for a while into a desert place. (Matthew 14:13) We can only wonder about his feelings about his cousin’s death. It must have been a time of great reflection for him. There were also other times when he had to go off into the wilderness by himself to pray, a time when he sweat as it were great drops of blood and a time when he even seemed to wonder if God were still with him as he was dying on the cross. (Matthew 27:46)
It’s easy to believe that God was with him when he multiplied the loaves of bread and the fish and when the people were praising God after he raised Lazarus from the dead, but God was also with him in his times of temptation. He was with him in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was with him on the cross when all but a few of his disciples and his mother had left him. He must have felt so alone. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
There are days for us when we feel incredibly close to God, and life makes it easy for us to be kind and generous. Everything we do seems to bring forth fruit. Then there are those other days, days when we question whether we even love God at all. Where did all the love disappear to? We hang on by faith that those high times were real and that they will return as suddenly as they disappeared. It was so kind of Jesus to experience all of these feelings, even in a greater magnitude, so that he could leave an example for us when we feel alone and separated from God. Along with his sterling examples, he left us the encouraging words to uplift us. “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”
After all of the ups and downs we finally learn that life is not about always being on a high. It’s about learning from our low times and overcoming them through faith that God is with us even in those depths. It’s about the grace of God that brings us back to the high times and the remembering of how it feels so that it will increase our faith in preparation for the next time that loneliness and doubt creep in. The knowledge that He is there continues to grow and strengthen His life in us, His kingdom coming alive in us and that makes all the difference.
Lo, I am with you alway.