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Jesus' Presence Along the Journey

A family vacation sheds light on recognizing the importance of the Lord in my life.

By Gwen Ford Faulkenberry, Ozark Mountains, Arkansas

As appeared in

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7

Last summer my husband and I took our three kids to the beach for two weeks. My brother and his wife came and joined us for the second week, renting a house nearby with their two daughters, Madeline and Sophia. For seven beautiful days, our two families played in the waves, hunted for seashells, fished, built sand castles and ate fresh seafood together.

When we returned home, we all visited with my parents. Granny and pa asked the kids to each tell his or her favorite thing about the beach. They experienced so many new things, and their thoughts were as varied as their personalities. Harper loved catching different kinds of fish than we have in Arkansas. Grace enjoyed sliding down sand dunes. Adelaide’s favorite thing was collecting shells, and Sophia had the most fun chasing crabs. When it came to Madeline’s turn, her answer surprised us all: “My favorite thing about the beach was the Faulkenberrys!”

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After she said that, we all had to agree with her—the best thing about the vacation was being together. What’s sort of funny, I suppose, is that back home we are next-door neighbors. It’s not as if the beach is the only place we get to see each other. We have fun together just about every day.

But she was right. No matter where we go, it’s who we’re with that makes the difference. I thought about Madeline’s statement—that her favorite thing at the beach was us—and how it illustrates our relationship with Jesus.

Certainly, circumstances change, and some places we go in life are better, easier, more interesting, more exciting than others. But what really makes the difference is Jesus’ presence along the journey.

Faith Step: Have you been looking for fulfillment in your circumstances? Today, try looking to the One who is with you in all things and all places. His presence can make all the difference in your journey, no matter where today’s circumstances take you.