In Our Midst
by Joanne Ellison

Happy Easter Monday! This is the day after we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has risen and that is the game changer for all of us who believe. He is the hope for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And the reason that life has meaning as we ponder what this life is all about.

Today I want to address the subject of His ever-presence; that in the midst to your pain, or joy, or life’s circumstances in which you find yourself, He is there. I have a confession to make. There are days when I wonder if He is there or if He cares, when my day does not go the way I had hoped– or week– or for some years. It’s not enough for me to simply say: ” Don’t worry.” God has this. We need a stronger anchor than our words. We need the words of Jesus:

In this world there will be tribulation (ie- stress, pain, trouble) but I have overcome those things. 

Friends, on the cross, He completed the work that His Father gave Him to do and that includes helping us become overcomers in this life. Oswald Chambers puts it this way:

God does not give us overcoming life;He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. 

In other words, when we step into the strain knowing he is there and step out in faith, He gives us the strength to overcome. Sometimes I just prefer to sit in self-pity hoping He will show up. But He is there already. He has gone before me. He goes before you. And as we step out to do the next thing, His Presence goes before us. We are not alone. He is in our midst.

As some of you know, my Daddy died a few weeks ago and my Mother said to me the other day that the hardest thing is not being able to see him now; having to wait until she goes to be with Jesus. She said that she wished we had eyes to see everything (spiritual eyes that is). I feel the same way. But one thing we know for sure is that Jesus promised He would be with us. His name is Emmanuel. God in our midst.

Christianity is the only religion where God reaches down to humanity– offering His best to draw us back to Himself. He made the first move; a move of grace. And as we reach back to Him, we find life. In the midst of this thing we call life, we begin to realize that now we only see in a glass dimly but one day we will see Him face to face. Now we must be satisfied with knowing He is in our midst, though unseen, we get glimmers, flickers of His presence daily. And for me, this is enough. How about you?



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  1. Lynn Land

    This speaks powerfully to me. As we step into the strain He is there, He gives us all we need to overcome whatever it is. Love that ‘the strain is the strength.’ Joanne, you continue to nail it!!! Love you!

  2. Rebie Smith

    Joanne, I am so sorry to here of your father’s passing. I pray that you would be even more aware than ever of the Lord’s peace and presence walking with you through this difficult time.
    I’m sorry I’m unable to be with you at the conference this weekend, I know God will be moving in great ways!
    The time I spent with you at Pawley Island (too many years ago!) was life changing.
    Much love, Rebie Smith


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