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With: Torrey Conference 2013

Sabbathing with God

Sophmore Jordan Shutt chooses to journal during his sabbathing time. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

“With” is a funny word. We use it every day but I’ve never thought of it in a biblical context before. After sitting in on a majority of the sessions during my first ever Torrey Bible Conference, I began to realize the word “with” is a fundamental preposition used to communicate my relationship with God.

This is a “God with us world.” He is with us in our trials, fears, doubts and temptations. During the closing send-off of the sabbathing session before students were asked to find a quiet nook on campus to meet with God in a time of listening and reflection over what we learned over these past few days, Todd Pickett reminded us that God is with us — in everything.

Two students spoke, Rory Woodbury and Sarah Mariano. Both girls spoke about their own experiences of God with them. Rory urged us to “live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received.” Sarah exhorted us to remember. “Do you get it?” she asked us, “Do you get that God is with us all the time?”

As I walked out of the gym and found a shady patch of grass to camp out on for the next hour or so, I asked God to help me get it. I asked him to help me understand that he was always with me. I realized why I couldn’t feel him with me in the past. It was because I was running from him and taking my fears with me so that I would not have to admit them to the God that actually already knows them. Yet, just like in the garden, God found me there in the place where I was trying to hide and asked me what I was afraid of. 

In that time of communication with God I remembered what Liana Sims, who spoke at Story Slam, said: “God is already in my tomorrow, anticipating my arrival.” 

God knows my fears and he is with me as I try to explore them. He also knows the answers for those fears tomorrow and seven years from now. In that we can find comfort and peace knowing not only will God not leave us, but he is with us as we discover those answers.

This time of sabbathing after sitting through many sessions allowed me to meet with God and understand how “with” me he actually is.

“With” is such a small word. Yet it holds so much power. 

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