A God So Near

Soon after we made it through the hardest months after you were born, a class I was taking gave me an assignment to consider the character of God and write out my thoughts as I responded in praise.  This assignment came with great timing, and I had no idea what I would come to recognize through it.  One morning I was considering the reality of God being “omnipresent,” and I began to see the greatness of this truth in a new way in my life.

To say that God is omnipresent is to say He is everywhere.  This can be discussed on a few levels.  First, all people are God’s creation, and there is not one moment when they are not in His presence (Acts 17:28).  Every moment of life for all humanity is 100% dependent upon God.  We could not exist, live, or breathe without Him sustaining us and holding the universe together.  He upholds every moment, and we couldn’t even move without Him.  All men need to recognize this humbling reality.  This is God’s world, and He cannot be escaped.  Second, close personal fellowship with God’s presence was lost as a result of our rebellion, but God has provided a way that His people can once again enjoy His nearness.  Today, the presence of God dwells among His people through His Spirit (Eph. 2:22), and as a result of the work of Christ we can at every moment boldly draw near to God to find His gracious help (Heb. 4:16).  He is especially near to His people in a way the rest of humanity does not know (Deut. 4:7).  Last, God is working through history to bring His people back into the full enjoyment of His presence once and for all (Rev. 22:3-5).  Eternal life is knowing God in such a close relationship (Jn. 17:3).  Such abundant life is possible now, but it will only be fully enjoyed in the age to come when all things are made new.  Life has always been and ever will be centered on fellowship with the presence of God.

As I considered the fact that God is near to me in such a personal way every moment of every day, I slowed down to consider what this meant for my life and how it related to all we had been through with you.  Here is what I wrote in my response of praise to God that morning:

“I am thankful that you are always here with me.  The idea that you are present with me at all times is overwhelming, but this reminds me that there is no excuse for me not to enjoy my relationship with you throughout the entire day.  You are always there.  Every time I step into the classroom you are there.  Every time I go home for the evening you are there.  Every moment we sat in the hospital with Amelia you were there.  Every moment we celebrate of progress in Amelia’s health you are there.  Every meal we eat you are there.  Every book I read you are there.  Every conversation I have you are there.  Every breath I take you are there.  I don’t live like this is true, but I am so thankful that it is!”

I had to share this with a friend, and as soon as I got to the part about you, tears began to fill my eyes.  The reality of God’s presence being with us through every moment began to sink in, and it was one of the most overwhelming feelings I have had.  The eternal, infinite God was with me.  He was right there every moment.  He never left my side, and He never left yours.  Even when we had to leave you, He was always present and watching over you.  Tears are rolling down my face again as I consider how amazing this is.  He was there in the hardest times, and He was there to rejoice with us in the best of times.  Nothing has changed, and He is right here just as near in this moment.

I am writing this to you because life is not life without knowing the nearness of God.  To know He is near and be His enemy is the most frightening state I could ever imagine being in.  The work of Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to no longer be enemies of God and to now know peace and fellowship with His presence.  There is nothing greater and no treasure could ever come close to comparing.  We can choose to enjoy the nearness of God.  Most of the time when we were at the hospital with you I took God’s presence for granted.  It was only after the fact that I began to realize how comforting it was to know the closeness of God as we go through the difficult and joyous moments of our lives.  There is nothing greater or more important than learning to live in the reality of fellowship with God in every moment of our days.  We are never alone.  He is always near.  I pray that my life would be an example of living in His presence, and I pray that your life would be the story of someone who continually grows to experience this to the fullest and hopes in the day we will be as near to God as we were always meant to be.

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