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by Doug Floyd

We learn to walk with God each moment. A life of faith is a collection of many
faith moments. Moment by moment we struggle to walk, to live, to rest in God’s
presence. God promises, “I am and remain present” (Martin Buber).
I am in your midst.
I have chosen to be present to you.
Will you be present to me?

Our mind flutters with fear of future events or anguishes in pools of past regret,
but the Father comes to meet us in the present. “I am and remain present.”

As you struggle through the dark places,

and as you ascend the clouds
of eternal joy−I am and remain present.
I will walk with you.
I will not forsake you.
I will not abandon you.

It seems as though we grope alone. We cannot see the light of His face and assume
He has left us. Forgotten us. But He is present in the moment.

Those who live in the past, may wait for the Father to manifest His presence by
recapturing past experiences. But He is present in the now. He meets us in the

Others look for Him in the future. “A great move of God is coming.” Anticipation
fills the hearts of those who look for a coming outpouring of God’s presence in
unprecedented proportions. The Father says, “I am and remain present.”

There is a time for past reflection and a place for future projection, but these
must never replace the ever present now. For we live in the now−the present−and we
meet the Father in the present.

Sometimes our heart cries, “Oh Father, just let this moment pass.” There are some
moments which we do not enjoy. Moments of agony. Moments of loneliness. Moments of
fear. The challenge of faith is to turn in the moment. We turn to the ever present
Father. For He says, “I am and remain present.”

The Israelites wearied under oppression as the Egyptians killed their children and
ruled their lives. Weak knees and feeble hearts lost the sweetness of the Father.
For them, the God of Israel bowed to the gods of Egypt. Their “god” offered no
respite, no healing balm, no salvation. Their god left them subjected to the whims
of harsh rulers.

Years of struggle crushed the common of memory of god. The community failed to
grasp the God of Israel. He was only a myth. He had no power. It was foolish to
ask for mercy, he was deaf and could not act. And yet, some still cried, “Have
mercy, Oh God and deliver us from the hand of the oppressors.”

This god who led their forefathers was gone, or asleep. If only someone knew his
name. For with his name, we could summon him. We could call him forth.

Maybe the Egyptians are more powerful because they can name their gods. They have
the power of the name. Who can remember the name of our god? If we might only
speak his name, he would come, he would heed, he would obey our bidding. What is
the name?
In another land, the exile wanders in the desert, stumbles into a burning bush,
and finds his god. Or rather, the Present One finds him. From out the fire, the
voice summons him, calls out his name, “Moses, Moses.”

Moses, in the moment, turns to the voice, “Here I am.”

Now he meets the God of his Fathers. The god that has been asleep. As Moses hides
his face in fear, the Holy One says:

I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out
because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I
have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up
out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and
honey−the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Jebusites. And now the cry
of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are
oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the
Israelites out of Egypt.

Just one moment earlier, Moses wandered the deserts shepherding flocks. One moment
earlier, Moses was a man that “could have been.” Much earlier, he had traded his
opportunity to rule, and now exiled to a lonely desert, he lived among a foreign
people in the midst of the wilderness.

But in the moment the voice called. Moses turned. Life changed. One moment changed
his whole destiny. For he had met the God of his Fathers. Not only had he met this
God, but he learned the God was not asleep, had not forgotten his people, and now
this God has commissioned him to rescue the people.

“But, but I can’t go on such a mission. Who am I?”

“I am with you. And I will bring you back to this mountain to worship me.”

Wait a minute. Moses doesn’t know the name. If the people can learn the name of
their god. They’ll never be abandoned again because they need only speak the name,
and he must appear.

He turns, “What if I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your
Fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall
I tell them?”

“I am and remain present.” The voice gives him no name to summon. The voice gives
him presence.

My presence is here and will remain with you. You need not and cannot summon me,
for I have summoned you. I have chosen you. I have called out your name. I have
befriended you. And I will remain present to you in the moment. You cannot
determine how or what I will do. You cannot chose how I will appear. You can only
turn to meet me in the moment. “This is my name forever, the name by which I am to
be remembered from generation to generation.”

The Creator of heaven and earth. The God of our Fathers. The Holy One of Israel is
the “Living and Present One in the midst of the human world the Standing and
Acting One” (Martin Buber). And to all generations he says, “I am and remain

In the moment, Moses turned and met His creator. Moses learned to depend upon the
presence. He even refused to move with out it.
We are called to live in the presence. To rest in the presence of the Lord. As we
tumble toward Zion, we lose our way, we grow weary, we forget. But in the moment,
we turn to our Father who says, “I am and remain present.”

He calls out to us by name. We turn. In the turning, we change. Again and again,
in our journey, we will turn. In the moment, we turn to the present one. To our
Father. To our Savior. To our Lord who has promised to never leave or forsake us.

Whether in silence or blazing glory, we turn to Him who is always present and

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