The Power of Presence
Neil Anderson has travelled the world, speaking and teaching, and has written many books. At his side, at his back, has been his wife Joanne: they have been together for over 50 years. Now Joanne is gripped by a long...
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Neil Anderson has travelled the world, speaking and teaching, and has written many books. At his side, at his back, has been his wife Joanne: they have been together for over 50 years. Now Joanne is gripped by a long decline, sinking gradually into agitated dementia. She depends on Neil's presence, calls him Daddy. He has no training as a nurse, but now for long hours he sits at her bedside, and cares for her bodily needs. They do not speak much: conversation is a strain. So Neil has used the silent hours to pray, to spend time in God's presence, and to reflect on what this means. 'I have become keenly aware that God is using Joanne's illness to teach me about the power of presence,' he writes. 'I'm learning on a much deeper level the purpose of just being there, and what it means to be still and know that He is God. There is an inexplicable peace that comes from knowing I don't have to 'do' in order to 'be' in God's will - to be in His presence - to be in each other's presence. 'It has been a peaceful time of reflection upon the presence of God, and how that has shaped me, our marriage, and ministry.My theology tells me that God is omnipresent, but we are not always aware of His presence, and yet without His presence we are not fully alive.'
Dr. Neil T. Anderson is founder and president of Freedom in Christ Ministries, and was formerly chairman of the Practical Theology Department at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He holds five degrees from Talbot, Pepperdine University and Arizona State University, and worked as an aerospace engineer before entering the ministry. He has 20 years of experience as a pastor and has written several bestselling books on spiritual freedom, including Victory Over the Darkness, The Bondage Breaker, Finding Hope Again and Freedom from Addiction. - Publisher.