“God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’” Acts 17.27-28
Recently, I was thinking of how complex human lives are, and I began to recount events that I had witnessed personally, through merely my own circle of family and friends: an unplanned birth; the adoption of foreign children; a soldier coming safely home to grateful and relieved loved ones; a soldier returning with deep wounds and scars; a soldier leaving and heading to war; a marriage beginning in youthful exuberance; a marriage rising from the ashes of divorce to begin a new life with great joy; a marriage ending in anger, grief and insult; a triumph of health over illness; a debilitating and sudden disruption by disease; a promise of hope for new direction in college; a wonderfully successful academic achievement; an untimely end to a well-planned career; the birth of success; the loss of wealth; a premature death surrounded by grieving family; a lonely death after a long and decent life. This list represents only the twists and turns of recent occurrences in lives that I know personally, and the list is hardly complete. These are just the events I could think of off-hand!
Human life is complex with myriad experiences, both good and bad and in every shade of gray. We have no way of knowing how to cope with these situations until they visit our own lives. We can watch others and learn; but how can we understand the searing pain of losing someone we love, and how can we know how we’ll personally respond to good news and success? Life is difficult and confusing, rife with sin and heartbreak, full of potential and possibility.
Life is also neither just nor fair. It is marked by wisdom and foolishness, success and failure, joy and sorrow, good and evil, all of which are found in every human being. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” The totality of each human life, from the best to the worst, is lived out within the heart of God Himself. We have our being in Him, the whole of our lives – heart, soul, mind and strength. More than a consolation, there is a humility born of the realization that whether we wrestle demons or soar with angels, we never leave the heart of God. No wretched misery is beyond the reach of God; no admirable greatness is a surprise to Him.
How vast is our God that He can find us in every moment of life, every circumstance, that He encompasses the heights and depths of each one of us, and that He knows our every thought and dream, even those we refuse to face ourselves? Even more, how incomprehensible is His love that He has drawn near to us and relentlessly calls us to look for Him?
He is not far. He is as close as the beat of our hearts and the air that we breathe. As David proclaimed, “You hem me in – behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me.” (Ps. 139.5) The Spirit of God permeates the whole of creation, upholding and sustaining it. All of life is drawn from Him, and even in death, Life is given by Him. We are His offspring, His children. He delights in our presence and savors our company.
Do you need God? The undeniable answer is yes. The better question then, is do you know you need God? He is not far away. With the eyes of faith, look around. With the humility acquired in the honest admission of the frailty and brevity of all human existence, open your heart and mind to One who possesses the entirety of your life within His own heart. Rest in Him and breathe in the goodness of His Life and love.
He is not far away, and He is calling you by name.
In Christ –
Ó Servants’ Feast Ministry 2