In times of trouble, people often seem fond of asking where God is. Now, I haven’t actually heard anyone pose that question in the midst of the troubled days we are presently enduring. But it is a safe bet that someone, somewhere out there, has done so.
Perhaps part of the trouble is not that God is far away… indeed, He is as close as he ever has been. The trouble is that we don’t always know where to look for Him, or how to see Him when He is right in front of us.
For the past two mornings, I have been considering Romans 1v20:
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (ESV)
It reminded me of a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, entitled “A Child’s Thought of God”, which goes as follows:
They say that God lives very high;
But if you look above the pines
You cannot see our God; and why?
And if you dig down in the mines,
You never see Him in the gold,
Though from Him all that’s glory shines.
God is so good, He wears a fold
Of heaven and earth across His face,
Like secrets kept, for love, untold.
But still I feel that His embrace
Slides down by thrills, through all things made,
Through sight and sound of every place;
As if my tender mother laid
On my shut lids her kisses’ pressure,
Half waking me at night, and said,
“Who kissed you through the dark, dear guesser?”
God’s closeness is so obvious, and yet we still miss it all the time. We get distracted, and our vision gets fuzzy. We need to slow down, to be still, to look around us. Right now is the perfect time to do that. For one thing, a vast majority of the population has no choice but to slow down right now. For another, it’s spring.
God is literally everywhere right now, on full display for us to behold through the things that He has made.
I took a walk in a local arboretum on Friday, and met the Creator at every turn. I saw His love for color, and texture, and movement. I saw His sense of humor. His attention to detail. His inclination for both excess, and moderation. In the endless flowers, I perceived His presence here and now. In the buds not yet ready to open, I read the promise that He isn’t going anywhere.
So, if you can, go outside and look around. Enjoy the beauty and glory of Spring. And see if you don’t feel the embrace of our Creator “through all the things made, Through sight and sound of every place”.
He IS here with us, no matter what happens. And He is so much closer than we realize.