“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”
A small boy, who had been told that God was always with him, walked quietly into the kitchen intent upon stealing a couple of biscuits. As he went through the door he turned to the air behind him and said crossly, “Don’t You ever get lost?” We are never alone.
There is no place on earth, or indeed in creation, where God is not present all the time. Whatever we are doing or not doing He is there. We cannot escape from His presence or be dragged away from it. Whether in the desert wastes or in the dark and silent emptiness of space He is fully there at all times. He is present not only in the material world but in the spiritual as well. He sees and hears and knows everything.
When Jesus told His disciples that He would “be with you always” He was not referring just to this. He was referring to an even more personal and intimate presence in their lives – that of the Holy Spirit. Dwelling within us He wold be able to feed and minister into the very centre of our lives and being. And it is from here that we will be able to tap into “the spring of water welling up to eternal life” – and ‘drink deeply from the cup of salvation.’ This means that at all times we will be able to turn to Him, knowing in faith that He is within us, to seek help, draw strength and peace from Him, and rest in His love.
There may be times when we will feel lost and alone, sightless within a dark cloud of despair and apathy. But still He is there – because He is everywhere and because He has promised to His people the intimacy of His presence. Our feelings are not the truth – He is the Truth. Everywhere we are, He says through the psalmist, His hand will guide us and hold us fast. What is more it will be His right hand – His hand of primary action. He will not be casual in these situations but very intentional. And it is when we are enabled to look back on it all that we will perceive the truth of it.
Reading the words is not enough. Pause and acknowledge His presence. Be still there for a moment. Thank Him. Then carry on.
Lord Jesus You are with me right now. I pause in Your presence. Thank You for being with me. Please guide me and hold me fast. Amen.