(By Michelle Snippe)
David was an amazing writer. His pen always seemed to hit the page in such a way that one was never left in doubt as to what his heart was truly feeling.
When he wrote Psalm 139, a psalm we know well for its beautiful words detailing the intricacy and care with which God created each one of us, it seems he was utterly enthralled with not only our God as Creator, but more so with Him in another manifestation. Verse five captures it well:
“You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5).
And I love the Voice translation of the verse:
“You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me, and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder.”
David appears to be captured and comforted by, the omnipresence of our God.
Maybe you woke up today feeling like God is distant or far out of reach, like His presence is far from you. It might be that, at this very moment, you are a little less than sure that He really is near.
The writer of the text is no stranger to those same emotions. Over and over through the Psalms we read of David’s pleas:
“How long will you hide your face from me?”
“I am cut off from your sight.”
“Oh God, be not far from me.”
Yet, verse five, alongside verse seven, holds a truth about God’s presence that David ultimately knows well: you can not flee from it. In other words,
God is never not near.
Yet, I believe that each of us experiences times when God feels far away. We pray, but it doesn’t seem as if He is answering. We read the Bible, but it doesn’t speak to us. We seek God, but it appears as if He is hiding.
If that’s you, then you need to know this: God IS near. Not only is He near you, He surrounds you on every side. He is so very near to you that His hand is laid upon your shoulder. And that holy Hand will guide you in the right direction. It will comfort you with its gentle touch. It will protect you when the enemy strikes. It will warm you when your heart has grown cold. It will uphold you in every one of your hard and seemingly hopeless circumstances.
No, your God is not distant at all. He is so very near…as near as your next breath as a source of joy, peace and strength. No wonder David needed to exclaim in the following verse:
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me”
So, if today you need some reassurance of God’s presence, don’t take my word for it, take His. He has repeatedly declared, throughout Scripture, the truth of His presence with us, His promise to be near us, and His assurance to never leave us. And, even though that knowledge might be too wonderful for us to completely understand, we still get the blessed privilege of believing it and claiming for our own.
Let’s rejoice in His nearness today!