While I was visiting my son in San Diego, we decided to go to Shadow Mountain Church to hear Dr. David Jeremiah preach. Steve and I got up early on Sunday morning and took the hour-long drive to the church. But our anticipation turned to disappointment when we discovered that Dr. Jeremiah was not there that day. “Some other guy”—a substitute—was preaching.

A couple of weeks later, I was scheduled to preach at the church in Grand Rapids where my wife and I attend. As I stood in front of the congregation, I realized that now I was “some other guy” and they might be disappointed because they had come to hear our pastor—not me—speak.

While we find comfort in the familiarity of those we depend on in life, we have to recognize that at times they can be substituted. But the One we need most—the One on whom we depend for life itself—is always present (Ps. 139:7-8). When we desire to enter God’s presence in prayer, He is always there: “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (55:17).

Looking for God? He’s always right there. No substitute needed.