Everywhere and Nowhere
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? Psalm 139:7
A family friend who, like us, lost a teenager in a car accident wrote a tribute to her daughter, Lindsay, in the local paper. One of the most powerful images in her essay was this: After mentioning the many pictures and remembrances of Lindsay she had put around their house, she wrote, “She is everywhere, but nowhere.”
Although our daughters still smile back at us from their photos, the spirited personalities that lit up those smiles are nowhere to be found. They are everywhere—in our hearts, in our thoughts, in all those photos—but nowhere.
But Scripture tells us that, in Christ, Lindsay and Melissa are not really nowhere. They are in Jesus’s presence, “with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). They are with the One who, in a sense, is “nowhere but everywhere.” After all, we don’t see God in a physical form. We certainly don’t have smiling pictures of Him on our mantel. In fact, if you look around your house, you may think He is nowhere. But just the opposite is true. He is everywhere!
Wherever we go on this earth, God is there. He’s there to guide, strengthen, and comfort us. We cannot go where He is not. We don’t see Him, but He’s everywhere. In each trial we face, that’s incredibly good news.
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In Psalm 139 David describes being overwhelmed by the reality of God’s constant presence—feeling it is “too wonderful” and “too lofty” for him (v. 6), even speculating whether he could hide from God (vv. 7–12). But ultimately David celebrates the wonderful reality that he was personally created by God (vv. 13–16) to be tenderly held and guided by Him (v. 10) and to know Him (vv. 17–18).
We too might have similar feelings when we try to comprehend the glory of the One who is always with us.
As you reflect on the wonderful truth of God’s presence, thank Him that He is there even in the midst of your pain.