The Gift of Presence

By Jessica Landmon

Most people who know me typically say I'm hard to buy a gift for. They would argue that I have very specific tastes or that I am too practical. So, when a holiday or birthday rolls around, the interrogation begins.

Between you and me, I think I am quite easy to buy for, and I do love gifts just as much as the next person. But, what I really have discovered is that the gift of presence is the best gift you could give me. I love to spend time with my family, so gifting me an activity or an opportunity to spend more time with them is my most treasured of gifts.

With two teenagers in the house, we are definitely in a season of busy. In fact, I feel that I spend more time driving my kids to and from activities than anything else. I know most moms can relate. Sure, we make every effort to spend time with each other, but most often, it happens in the car, squeezed in between activities, or during our late night dinners. And, it certainly isn’t the unhurried time that I so desire.

Thinking about all this got me reflecting on my relationship with my Heavenly Father and what He so desires from me. He longs to spend time with me, just as I long to spend time with my children. Squeezing in some prayer time in the car or in between a hectic day isn’t exactly the “quality” time He wants of me.

Am I giving the Lord my best? Have I given Him the gift of my presence – my undivided attention, setting my focus on Him, and Him alone? Do I set apart time to spend with Jesus when I'm not looking at my phone, mentally creating a to-do list, or otherwise consumed with another activity. Do I come unplugged before Him each and every day?

Unfortunately, my answer saddened me – not always. Days get crazy. Demands are high. And in fact, they are often filled with tasks that I'm doing for Him. But, what I have learned is that I will never achieve the level of intimacy with the Lord that my spirit craves until I gift Him this – the gift of my presence.

The funny thing is that I recognize how important this time with the Lord is to me. Yet some days, I simply fail to fit it in. These unhurried moments before the Lord provide me peace like no thing or no person can. It calms my heart and refreshes my spirit. It also gives me an opportunity to pour out praise to my awesome God, thanking Him for all He is and for all He has done.

Here, in this unhurried time with the Lord, He and I can dream and plan together. He provides understanding and comfort to situations my mind can’t comprehend in the natural. He heals my hurts, convicts me of bad choices, and helps me align myself with His will. In His presence, His majestic power, grace, and abundant love are revealed. Ultimately, I walk away stronger and empowered to do what I have been called to do.

Ladies, I encourage you to check yourselves in this area too. Have you given Jesus the gift of your presence – the uninterrupted, unhurried moments of your day where you spend solely with Him? If not, it's time to rethink your schedules and reprioritize. I can assure you that you will never regret any time spent in His presence.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. – Revelations 3:20