Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, June 26

“As I was with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and of good courage.”
—Joshua 1:5b

After Moses died in the land of Moab, God appointed Joshua to lead the people across the Jordan River, and enter into the promised land.

It’s interesting that God seems to realize Joshua’s need to be assured not only of divine presence, but to be exhorted to courage as well. Even God seems to know that His presence, in itself, is not always enough to make us strong. I suspect this is because even the great leader Joshua did not always find God-with-him the most evident of realities.

And neither do we. In large part this is because God (who is always in fact present to us) often seems to be conspicuous by his absence. God is “eternal, immortal, invisible.” (I Timothy 1:17) It is difficult sometimes to trust in a God who, in the words of the great old hymn by W. C. Smith, “in light inaccessible” is “hid from our eyes”

When my daughter Emily was very young, this business of God’s invisibility bothered her a lot.

One night when Emily was four, after we had said her prayers and I had tucked her into bed, she spontaneously added an extra prayer. “Dear God, I wish you could come for lunch. And do you have to be invisible? I don’t like it. But I love you anyway.”

Eternal, immortal, invisible God, we wish we could see you more clearly. Help us to love you anyway, and to trust you to be present with us when we cannot see you at all.

The Signposts for June are written by Deborah Smith Douglas and originally appeared on in May 2005.