I was just struck with that idea. There was a place where God promised he would show up. Like a divine date...this place...this time..."I'll be there." I was almost jelous of the Isrealites to have such a concrete promise of God's presence.
But then God reminded me of another promise that Jesus made a couple thousand years later. "Behold, I am with you always..." This wasn't a promise to show up once a year, in a specfic place, for one specific person. This was Jesus declaring the God was going global & personal. Now God wasn't locked away in the back room of an ornate temple. He was in it with us. At our schools & at our jobs. In our homes and in our cars. Wherever we are...he's right there with us.
I reminded myself how much an ancient Isrealite would envy the promise I was taking for granted. I reminded myself I need to be so much more mindful of the presence of God. He is there, we must only recognize it.
When I'm praying, I make a bad habit of asking God to "be with" this or that situation. I wonder if God ever just says to himself...I"m already there, Doug.
A much better prayer is "make me aware of your presence, God." It's not that I need God to show up...I need to be looking for what He's already doing. Where is He leading? What does He have for me in this? What is He preparing for me? What is He protecting me from? I need to stop looking for a magic moment of divine appointment & recognize His ongoing & intimate presence.
How do you keep in the habit of staying aware of God's presence?