“There is this idea called “the ministry of presence.” Those who have suffered a tragic loss of some kind can tell you about it. It occurs when people who love you come to sit by your side in the midst of your tragedy. At the moment when no well-meant words can offer you comfort, when no considerate casserole can fill your acid stomach, and no kindly sent floral arrangement can mask the pungency of your despair, they take a seat next to you and offer the silent assurance of proximity, the gift of nearness. They have come and they will not leave. Your towering, monstrous sorrow fills them neither with terror nor revulsion. Even if you pushed them away, begged them to leave, they would refuse for the good of your soul.
There is this idea called “the ministry of presence,” and God is perfect at it.
‘It is the L ORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed’ (Deut. 31:8). When tragedy comes, whether we battle sin or sorrow, we never face these foes alone. His spirit, which hems us in behind and before, also indwells us. He is all around us, and he is in us.”
~~ Jen Wilkin, None Like Him