Of Spiders and God’s Presence
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16
Spiders. I don’t know any kid who likes them. At least not in their rooms . . . at bedtime. But as she was getting ready for bed, my daughter spied one dangerously close to her bed. “Daaaad!!!!! Spiiiderrr!!!!!” she hollered. Despite my determination, I couldn’t find the eight-legged interloper. “He’s not going to hurt you,” I reassured her. She wasn’t convinced. It wasn’t until I told her I’d stay next to her top bunk and stand guard that she agreed to get in bed.
As my daughter settled in, I held her hand. I told her, “I love you so much. I’m right here. But you know what? God loves you even more than Daddy and Mommy. And He’s very close. You can always pray to Him when you’re scared.” That seemed to comfort her, and peaceful sleep came quickly.
Scripture repeatedly reassures us God is always near (Psalm 145:18; Romans 8:38–39; James 4:7–8), but sometimes we struggle to believe it. Perhaps that’s why Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus to have strength and power to grasp that truth (Ephesians 3:16). He knew that when we’re frightened, we can lose track of God’s proximity. But just as I lovingly held my daughter as she went to sleep that night, so our loving heavenly Father is always as close to us as a prayer.
Today’s passage describes the overflowing riches of God’s grace, which is accessed through the Holy Spirit. God’s love is infinite and therefore beyond our understanding, but the Spirit enables our comprehension. Life-transformation is in view when we are told to be “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19); spending time with God transforms how we live. Experiential knowledge of the God of grace should flow over into what we say, think, feel, and do. Life is filled with ever-changing circumstances that may cause joy, sadness, satisfaction, or stress. But no matter what we experience, God is always near.
What are you struggling with now? How does the immeasurable love of Christ and God’s never-ending presence encourage you?