Take a minute to remember some of the characteristics you know about God. I’ll get you started. Finish the sentence, God is… faithful, loving,
“(omni-)kind, (omni-)caring, (omni-)merciful, (omni-)gracious, (omni-)glorious, (etc.) magnificent, awesome, indescribable, uncontainable, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, providing, protecting, generous, righteous, perfect, alpha and omega, holy, friend…
“but also jealous, just, wrathful, vengeful.”
Read [the] 24 verses [of Psalm 139] and use this space to write the key phrases that describe where God is.
“God is ‘afar’ (v.2), ‘behind and before’ (v. 5), ‘up to the heavens’ (v. 8), ‘on the wings of the dawn’ (v. 9), ‘on the far side of the sea’ (v. 9), in ‘the darkness’ (v. 11 & 12), ‘in my mother’s womb’ (v. 13), ‘in the secret place’ (v. 15), ‘in the depths of the earth’ (v. 15), and ‘in the way everlasting’ (v. 24).”
Which is your reaction to God’s ubiquity?
“Oh yes, He’ll never leave me.”
Why might others choose ‘oh no, I can never escape Him’?
“Maybe a guilty conscience, but probably just the newness and overwhelming nature of the concept. I’ve known it and believed it since I was old enough to understand as a preschooler, so it’s a comfort for me.”
Draw something here on earth that seems unchangeable.
“(From Cain and Abel to gang violence today, ruthless killing seems more unchangeable than the ever-shifting mountains, flowing oceans, or ancient redwoods.)”
How has God been present in unexpected places in your life?
“I know He is, but sometimes I’m not really thinking about it or about Him, until circumstances begin to get bad and I start to get anxious. Then I feel more aware of his presence and feel reassured.
How can God’s omnipresence settle your heart today? Quiet your fears? Restore your trust?
“He can help me slow down, take a deep breath, organize my thoughts, prioritize my tasks, and have a calmer, smoother day.”
Dearest Rachel –
At least eleven years had passed since going through the Purpose Driven Life. Since then, you’d been a part of so many women’s Bible studies. This is just one of those.
For all the things that had changed, for all the growth you’d experienced in the meantime, there were places where you still admitted needed work in your life. You still didn’t always sense – or even think about – God’s presence at all times. You still had a cynicism about human nature and the logical extremes it tended toward.
Not that I’m any better; certainly, I always thought of myself as the cynic of the family. And you know all too well how little I sense His presence – or more to the point, His direction – in my life. And, of course, I still don’t.
But whether you were aware of His presence in any other way beyond intellectually, you had that much, and you considered it a comfort, rather than something to fear. And so do I. There is nowhere I can be where He isn’t; there is nothing that can happen that surprises Him or isn’t part of (or can’t be used in) His plans.
And, of course, now His presence is that much more real to you. Gotta say, it’s one more reason to look forward to our reunion – it will be nice to have that as a much greater reality, along with the answers to be found within His presence. But, for whatever reason, He’s decided to let you in that much sooner than me, and to withhold the reason why.
Until the day He allows me to know His secrets, honey, keep an eye out for me.