Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
An odd thing that became a good thing for my wife and I has been the advent (no pun) of texting. I know, most people go on and on about how they used to have “conversations” but now all they seem to do is text each other, and I don’t disagree with that on one level. Relationships are always going to benefit most from face to face contact where we can read each other’s expressions, hear the tone in our voices, and attain those kinds of social manners that are only developed through human contact.
To be clear, texting can never replace time spent together. And yet, we don’t get to spend every waking hour together, as lovely as that would be. What texting has done is allowed me and my wife to be in constant conversation with each other when we would otherwise be out of contact altogether. At any given moment, we are a text away from asking how the other person is doing, seeing what they’re up to, asking how we can pray, and sending encouraging words. It’s not all bad! In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that it’s an imperfect picture of the kind of relationship we have with our Father in heaven.
In one of the most beautiful songs ever written by King David, he makes the argument that he cannot escape the Spirit and presence of God, no matter where he goes. Like Jonah, David finds that wherever he goes, God is there. Unlike Jonah, this is an enormous comfort to David, when he considers the intimacy that God has with His people. We can’t escape God, and it’s only our guilt and shame that makes us want to.
Will we be more like David this holiday season? As we consider the incarnation of Immanuel, who’s name means “God With Us,” will we find our greatest comfort in knowing that whatever places the new year brings us to, geographically speaking or otherwise, we can have the confidence that God is with us before, during and after our arrival. Like David, we can find peace as we approach God in prayer:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it (Psalm 139:1-6).
Such knowledge is too high for us, but God has stooped low to us, to search us, know us, and never leave us without the help and hope we need.
Do you find yourself in constant conversation with God, or is it more like a long distant relationship? Be honest about some of the ways you have attempted to avoid God this year. Then go to Him now and begin a renewed and ongoing conversation with your Creator.