One of the highlights of English football (soccer) each year is the final match of the annual FA Cup Final. For more than a hundred years, the day has been marked by excitement, festivity, and competition. But what fascinates me is how the game begins. It starts with the singing of the traditional hymn “Abide With Me.”

At first that struck me as odd. What does that hymn have to do with football? As I thought about it, though, I realized that for the follower of Christ it has everything to do with sports, shopping, working, going to school, or anything else we do. Since there is no corner of our lives that should not be affected by the presence of God, the longing that He would abide with us is actually the most reasonable thing we could desire. Of course, the presence of our heavenly Father is not something we need to plead for—it is promised to us. In Hebrews 13:5, we read, “For [God] Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

Not only is God’s presence the key to our contentment, but it is also the promise that can give us wisdom, peace, comfort, and strength—no matter where we are or what we are doing.