Are You there?

Acts 17: 24-27 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.”

Lately when I pray, I almost whisper, “Hey God…are you there?”

I know He is, but sometimes He seems far.  The whole invisible God thing is not my fav.

But, I do love the imagery of this verse…that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.

It starts with seeking.  To seek is to attempt to find. That makes me think maybe it could NOT be there. It’s like the word try—it’s a gamble.

But then it progresses…

Feel their way toward him.  To feel is to be aware of something through touch. This reminds me of being in the dark.  You reach out anticipating something—it’s there; you just aren’t sure how far. So, you walk tentatively, slowly, clinging to things around you that are within reach to grasp. Sometimes you knock things over. Sometimes you stumble.

And then finding

When the leap of faith, even if it was a foot in front of you, is met with substance. There is something on the other side of that reach.

Doesn’t it make you sigh a little? There is relief in the arriving.

This is how I picture my walk of faith.

Starts with insecurity, curiosity, lack of assurance.

Then it turns to movement, growth, trust and fear.

It’s interrupted by grasping—reaching for things other than the goal. Taking hold of things that are flimsy and frail in comparison to the thing you want to find beyond the tips of your fingers.

And then finding.

Oh, gosh. Those moments of finding. The deep moments of intimacy with God, where you KNOW He is there.  It’s worth all the agony of the reaching and grasping and anxiety that you may experience in that journey. This side of heaven, those moments feel fleeting—I wish I could hold onto them longer.

But I love that God adds a sweet little promise on the end—He is actually not far from each one of us. We feel like He is—but He is truer than our feelings. He feels like He is far off—distant—unable to rescue; But because He is outside of time and not bound by space, He is nearer than your breath.

So, as I whisper, Are you there, God; as I step out into whatever feels murky, He is there. 

And He smiles as I reach forward; He cushions the blows as I stumble. He whispers back encouragement to prompt me forward and remind me what direction to go in. He is there. I cannot fail.

Here goes. Next step.



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