“[Trials and difficulties are] an opportunity to prove how our own pleasure or honor are nothing, and how humiliation is, in very truth, what we take pleasure in. It is indeed blessed–the deep happiness of heaven–to be so free from self that whatever is said about us or done to us is lost and swallowed up in the thought that Jesus is all.” ~ Andrew Murray, Humility

Dreams and disappointment sit at opposite ends of the same seesaw. When things are looking up, disappointment is swallowed up into the ground. However, when dreams explode and then turn to ash like short-lived fireworks, disappointment rises high.

This morning my good friend and author Kim Cash Tate included this quote from Andrew Murray on her blog. It seemed to sum up the place I’ve been trying to find for a long time. A place of such peace in the presence of God that no hardship or grief can taint it’s sweetness.

I’d say I’ve been there at different times, at that place of utter contentment, so caught up in the presence of God that I was almost clueless to the goings-on around me. But it’s a precarious place for a person of flesh. Worry, doubt, insecurity, pride — all these ailments tempt me from the safety of my knee-bending peace at the feet of my Love.

And so I hunger for it again, look for that sweet spot of communion, again reminding myself that I have nothing, am nothing, without the Grace of God.

The irony is that even there, in the center of God’s presence, joy and grief still occur. At times, I’m buoyed into the heavens by an unexpected success or a bit of good news. Almost as quickly, pain, hardship and disappointment plummet me to the ground.Up and down I go, looking for peace and place to feel secure.

It’s there. Where it’s always been. But the problem is I too often focus on the ups and downs, missing the beauty and rest found only in the middle.

The eternal love and presence of God–a promise he will always keep–stands as a fulcrum offering the perfect place of rest and safety in the ups and downs of living. That’s the sweet spot, the place deserving of our focus and energies. Dwell there. Rest there. Live there.

Because …

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” ~ Psalm 91:1

Let yourself be swallowed up in that this week, and everything else will fade in the deep happiness of that place.

How do you stay rooted in the presence of God, even when life is challenging?

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