My wife Diann and I have two homes, one in Florida to be near our son and his family and one in Mexico to be near our daughter and her family. We divide our year fairly equally between our two homes. It’s great to live near both of our children and their children, but we can only be one place at a time. Events take place with each of the families that we have to miss while we’re living near the other family. We’ve managed to establish two homes to be near both the children and their families, but we haven’t managed to be at both places at the same time!
One of the limitations we all face all the time is that we can only be one place at a time. An amazing attribute of God is that He does not have this limitation. God is all places present at the same time! The fancy theological word for this is that God is omnipresent.
Before God created the universe there was no space, and yet He existed. God exists outside of space and is not limited by it. God is present 13.4 billion light years from earth, sustaining the galaxies that are far, far away, and He is very much present with you right now as you read this!
The fact that God is everywhere present, including with you and me, makes it prudent for us to do what the ancient spiritual divine, Brother Lawrence, did – “practice the presence of God.” This means we never have to feel we’re alone, we just have to remember He’s with us, practice remembering His presence. It also means He is near those we love who we can’t be near at the time. When we pray for them God is with us to hear our prayers and at the same moment with our distant loved one to answer our prayer in accord with His good, wise will.
This wonderful truth of God being all places present, however, does not mean He is all places present in the same way. This is why we can be close to or far from God. He’s with everyone in the sense of sustaining their existence, like He does everything else that exists. But, relationally speaking, we can draw near to God, drift from God, or even run from Him.
The best approach is to realize God is all places present at the same time, including with you and me, and for us to make the most of it! Think about a person you really enjoy being with, and how things are not the same when they’re not around. God’s always around! Being aware of His constant presence and responding in a positive way to this truth makes every step part of a holy pilgrimage and every destination a holy place!
“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 will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:7-10)