I’m pursuing a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and I just wrapped up a challenging semester of studying the Gospels. 

While I enjoyed immersing myself in the life Jesus, I found the assignments of this semester particularly stressful. I had to read more books. I felt as if the exams and quizzes had been designed specially to make older and out-of-touch students like me feel like our brains needed recharging.

As I struggled to keep up, my son fell sick and had to miss school for two weeks, making it harder for me to meet school deadlines.

But through it all, I experienced Jesus as a close companion. He was on my mind because I had been reading about His world, His friends, His prayers, and His conversations.

My situation did not get better. My studies did not get easier. My son did not get instantly healed. However, I knew Jesus, my Lord and King, was with me.

He was near.

And His presence as my Helper, my Counselor, my Guide, my Teacher, and My Father made all the difference. The knowledge and assurance that I was not alone but that Immanuel walked with me was more than enough to help me get through a tough season. 

I pray you too experience the mystery of God’s closeness during difficult times and know that He will never leave you alone. I hope you experience the power of Jesus’ presence not only in the valleys but also on the mountain tops.

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4.

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