This post is part of “30 days of Giving Thanks” To read more within this series, click here.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
~ Psalm 139.7-12, NASB
Have you ever been so lonely that you felt physical pain? Have you ever felt alone even when surrounded by people? Have you ever cried out to God in prayer and felt like He wasn’t there?
I have felt all those things.
The simple fact is that no matter where we go on this earth, God is present. He is everywhere at all times.
When I was very small–=maybe five or six—I had a babysitter with a beautiful singing voice, named Stephanie. Most of my memories of that age are very fuzzy, but I have a very clear memory of watching her stand by the sink, filling glasses of water for us and singing this hymn:
Be with me, Lord–I cannot live without Thee,
I dare not try to take one step alone.
I cannot bear the loads of life, unaided,
I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.
Be with me, Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trial burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap everywhere about me,
They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.
Be with me, Lord! No other gift or blessing
Thou couldst bestow could with this one compare—
A constant sense of Thy abiding presence,
Where e’er I am, to feel that Thou art near.
Be with me Lord, when loneliness o’er-takes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.
~ T.O. Chisolm
I love the third stanza: “No other gift or blessing Thou couldst bestow could with this one compare—a constant sense of Thy abiding presence…” Abiding = enduring, long-lasting, durable, perpetual.
For all the times that God has sat with me as I wept, stood by me in triumpth, and guarded me in danger, I give thanks.
If you are in a place right now where you feel like God has left you behind, call out to Him in prayer. He is always waiting for us to call on Him and seek Him with our whole heart. He never really leaves. I think about Saul and how “the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.” He didn’t dwell in Saul’s heart anymore because Saul had forsaken Him; yet the Lord was still there. He knew what Saul was doing and He waited for Saul to turn back to Him. Saul never did.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
~ Proverbs 15:3, NKJV
God is always present. He wants us to be aware of His presence and acknowledge Him, but so often we act like He can’t or won’t see us. He is always there.
What verses remind you of God’s abiding presence?