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With you always

I’ve enjoyed hearing the stories about Queen Elizabeth that people have shared since her death in September. Here’s one of my favorites.

One summer, Queen Elizabeth was spending time at a castle in Scotland. On a pleasant afternoon, she went for a walk with one of her bodyguards, just the two of them. As they walked, they crossed paths with a couple of American tourists. The tourists knew that the Queen’s castle was nearby, but they didn’t recognize Queen Elizabeth. After a little small talk, the tourists said, “We know that Queen Elizabeth sometimes visits this area. Have either of you ever seen her?”

Queen Elizabeth quickly pointed to her bodyguard and said, “I don’t get to see the Queen, but this man sees her all the time.” The tourists were delighted. They turned to the bodyguard and asked, “Is it true? Do you get to see the Queen?” He said, “As a matter of fact, yes. I see Queen Elizabeth quite often.”

Wherever you go in this new year, trust that you are going to run into Jesus every step of the way.

The tourists couldn’t believe their good luck. They handed their camera to Queen Elizabeth and asked, “Could you please take our picture with this man? He actually gets to see the Queen!” Queen Elizabeth obliged them and took their picture with her bodyguard.

Then the bodyguard asked if he could also take their picture with the “old lady,” just so they could remember their conversation. So the bodyguard took their picture with the Queen too.

After the tourists walked away, the Queen smiled and said to her bodyguard, “I would love to see their faces when they get back to America, look through their pictures, and realize that I’m the Queen!”

That story hit home with me. We’re often like those tourists. How often do we miss what’s right in front of our faces? How often do we get all excited about trivial things? How often have we handed our cameras to Jesus and said, “Hey, can you take our picture with this important person over here?”

One day when we get to heaven, we’re going to be like those tourists when they got back to the United States. We’re going to look back over our lives and realize something: Jesus was with us the whole time.

That’s his promise, right? Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus promised, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Do you believe that? Jesus is with you always.

At the moments when we got all excited about that victory, we’ll realize it was Jesus who gave us the strength to succeed. At the moments when we felt all alone, we’ll realize it was Jesus who carried us through each day.

At the moments when we chased after wealth or power or beauty, we’ll realize Jesus was chasing after us, ready to catch us and forgive us when we fell.

Wherever you go in this new year, trust that you are going to run into Jesus every step of the way. You might not always see him, but he’s there. You might not always notice what he’s doing for you, but he won’t stop. He will be with you always.

So don’t get distracted. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t miss the King in his Word and in the Lord’s Supper. There is no one better than the King! Jesus is there. Always. That’s his promise: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Author: Nathan Nass
Volume 110, Number 01
Issue: January 2023

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This entry is part 11 of 36 in the series editorial-comment

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