For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 TNIV).

Today I write with a saddened heart. But my sadness is really a bit selfish. My dear friend, Mrs. Julie, passed away. And although I rejoiced at her celebration of returning home to the Father, I miss her so dearly.

I am thankful that I did get a chance to visit her in the hospital before she died. I cannot adequately describe what those few moments meant to me. She was a precious friend that I was not ready to let go.

At her going home celebration, the minister talked about some good times that we had all experienced with Mrs. Julie. Then my father sang Julie's request, “In the Garden.” I don't know about you, but to me this old hymn is so powerful. It talks about how God speaks to us and his voice is so sweet, that even the birds stop singing to listen. He shares how God walks with us and talks with us, and tells us that we are His own. It speaks about the joy we share as we spend time with Him.

I can't really comprehend the depth of meaning of all that at one time. I know it all to be true, but to walk with that kind of focus with God, is rare and precious. Mrs. Julie demonstrated that kind of focus in her relationship with others.

My question for us today is this: if God walks with us and talks with us, and tells us we are His own, then why is life so hard sometimes?

Is it because we get so caught up in the “real world” that we forget about the big picture, the presence of our Father, the one that says we are His? I do!

Let's stop and meditate on what it really means when God tells us we are His own. To me, it means that when I can't seem to get out of bed that morning, He is there ... Or when I fail my children, He is there ... Or when my finances are bad, He is there ... even when we feel like the whole world is on our shoulders, He is there ... He is there!

We will be able to handle any situation.
When we realize we are not alone — that we are His, that he claims us and walks with us — there will be nothing in our day that we cannot handle and nothing that we cannot face or go through. We will be able to handle any situation knowing that He is there.

Father, we come in Jesus' name and bow humbly before You to ask for a deeper sense of Your presence in our lives. Forgive us for ever doubting that you are with us, or that you love us, or that you have forgiven us through Jesus' Cross. Lord give us just a glimpse this day of how much you really do love us by personalizing something special in our day. Share your presence with us as individuals to help us better understand the depths of your love for us and that you walk with us. We love you Lord with all our hearts. Keep us pure before you and help us to forgive ourselves, just as Christ did. We love you so much Lord. Amen.

May you walk in peace from this day forward, knowing that He walks with you, and talks with you, and that you are His own!