“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” Jeremiah 23:24
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17
Of all the attributes of God, many seem easy to believe, and others… well, others can be more complicated. It’s easy to think of God as a loving, and good, and kind figure. But one that always stumped me was His omnipresence; the idea that God is always there, in all places, at all times, with all people, no matter what.
In daily thoughts and prayers, and especially in times of need, we’re quick to remind ourselves and others that He loves us. We thank Him for it. We sing about it – “loves (us) like a hurricane, and I am the tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy. How He loves us” (How He Loves by David Crowder Band). We praise Him for being a “Good, Good Father,” for knowing our every need and providing, for walking with us through our rough days. We study a God who was a man but was perfect. He wasn’t good because it was right to do so, He was good because He was perfect, and did all the right things.
And today we celebrate the idea that He works all things together for our good; that we will prosper at His hands, because He is good and wants good and right things for us. We aspire to be like He who was innately kind. Even to those who neither deserved nor expected His kindness and grace, He showed unwavering kindness. We preach the words of a man who did not have a mean bone in His body and model our own lives after His life and actions.
But all of these easy to believe attributes lead me to one that I could just never fully grasp. His omnipresence. How can a God who loves a child, manage to love and show goodness and kindness to someone who would harm that child? How can a God who works all things together for our good, be with the people of California as their homes burned in wildfires or get wiped away in mudslides? How can a God who is always and in all ways kind, be with me and be kind to me when I am not showing kindness in my own life? How can a God who is busy handling the weight of the world, even be here with me at the same time in the first place?
Jeremiah 23:24 tells us that, though we might wish we could, we cannot hide ourselves or our actions from Him. Other times, when we think there is no way God is with us in a trial, we know that He fills heaven and earth, filling our hearts and our lives.
I’m reminded of the way we are present with our children; even as I sit here, hiding from my toddlers, in my bedroom closet so I can just get one thing accomplished. I’m reminded that they know that I love them. They know that if they make a mistake, or hurt their sibling, or trip and fall; that I will be there with open arms to walk with them through that trial. They know that even though they can’t see me right now, I haven’t left them. Even when I am in another room, dealing with something else, my affections and intentions for them have not changed.
Though I find it hard to believe, He really is with us, always and in all ways. Encountering tough times in life are inevitable, and I can’t stop them. But I can use those situations to remind myself, as well as my husband and kids, that God still loves us, and is faithful to us, in ways we can’t imagine. That He is with us; always and in all ways.
- What attribute of God do you struggle to believe? What circumstances in your life make this part of God’s character tough to understand and trust?
- When do you feel reminders that God is omnipresent in your life? How does this enforce that He is the glue holding your life together?
God, Your love and presence in my life is unwavering. Thank you for showing me kindness and grace even when I don’t feel that You are near. Help me to love others the way You love me. Amen.
PC3 writer Annalee Thomasson wrote today’s devotional.