Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Elisa Maragoto, principal of the Lake Nelson Adventist Academy in Piscataway, N.J., speaks at the Hispanic Women’s Retreat.

Living in His Presence

Editorial by Elisa Maragoto

The idea of being “In His Presence,” the theme of this year’s Hispanic Women’s Retreat, unifies every aspect of who we are. At the event, we learned, through the story of Esther, that it is in His presence we find our true identity. Our past and present circumstances and mistakes do not and should not define us. As we find refuge in His presence, we come to understand that our identity is in Jesus.

It is this first step of discovery that will lead to the second step: recognizing our purpose. Once we know our identity is in Jesus, He will make it clear to us that our number one objective is to serve Him, and, in that process, bring glory to Him. God simply uses different platforms to accomplish His goal.

For Esther it was to be queen of the Medo-Persian Empire. God positions us where we are to fulfill what He intended before the beginning of time. Whether a homemaker, student, teacher or doctor, our role is to understand that our identity is in Him and that our true purpose is not a career or motherhood; it is to bring glory to God in whatever we do and wherever He places us.

The more time we spend in His presence, an amazing thing occurs. We not only understand His purpose; we begin to fulfill it. That is, we bring forth life. Esther was not chosen to simply be queen; she was handpicked to bring glory to God and ultimately bring life to her people.

Women were designed to bear life, and more than just physical life. As we discover our identity in Jesus and understand our purpose to serve Him and bring glory to Him, out of our “‘heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38, NKJV). An encouraging word, a genuine act of kindness, a gesture of compassion or a simple smile can bring forth life to someone dying within.

It is only in His presence that we learn our identity is in Jesus. It is only in His presence we recognize our purpose: to serve Him and give Him glory. And it is ultimately in His presence that we bear life to the world around us.


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