My six-year old has been sick this week. The days she has been home sick, she has spent most of her time in my bed watching Christmas shows while I piddle around the house. Throughout the day she wanders out of the bedroom to look for me. She follows me around for a little while and then I usher her back into my bedroom where she stays for a little while, then inevitably wanders back out again to find me, follow me around for a little while, then I usher her back into the bedroom, and round and round we continue. This morning I put on a movie for her so I could go into my closet and have some much needed quiet time with God. I spent some time praising Him and had just begun to pray when she peeked her head through the door and crept in to see what I was doing. A little irritated, I asked her what she needed and she replied, “I didn’t know where you were so I looked for you.” I told her that I was right here, literally within feet of her the whole time. And she responded, “But I can’t see you, and when I can’t see you it feels like you’re not there.”
So often I have felt this way with God. I often feel like my daughter– content for a little while with the thought that He is near, yet inevitably succumbing to the desire to begin wandering around trying to find Him because when I can’t see Him, it feels like He’s not there. But just like I am literally within a few steps from my daughter, God is always within arm’s length from us. My daughter may not know where I am, but she is safe because I know where she is. She is safe even though she can’t see me and may feel like I’m not there.
I think of the affection I feel for my daughter when I see her sweet, seeking face come around a corner or into a room and the look of relief and comfort that washes over her when she sees me standing there. I am not angry with her because she gets anxious and doubtful. I don’t say, “Why don’t you trust me? Why don’t you believe me?” I don’t say these things to her because I understand that she needs to feel the comfort of my presence. If I feel such affection, mercy, and understanding toward my daughter, I think of how much more understanding, mercy, and affection God must feel toward us. I want her to feel safe and I want her to feel loved and I want her to trust me and know that I am trustworthy and I want her to know that my love for her is real. I am prone to temptation and sin and if I, flawed and prone to such, feel such wonderful things toward my daughter, how much more does God, in His utter perfection, flawlessness, and holiness, feel those things toward us?
Jesus promised us, “…surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age”(Matt 28:20). He also said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). The word translated as “home” is the Greek word MONEN, which means dwelling place or abode. It literally means a place where a person remains or abides. A place where someone is at home and can always be found. Jesus promised those who love Him, “Surely, I can always be found with you because I dwell with you, I am at home in you, seated in your love for Me. Your faith is My abode.”
“My God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. But You are holy, You Who inhabit the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:2,3)
“In Him the whole building is fitted together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together into a dwelling place for God in His Spirit.” (Eph 2:21,22)
“Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16)
“What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.'” (2 Cor 6:16)
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10).