God, Scripture tells us, promises that he will always be with us.
‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’ (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Yet often, God seems far away. Often, God seems silent. Even those of us who have strong faith can feel alone in the silence. Abandoned. Adrift.
I was reminded of Psalm 139, which says ‘Where can I go to escape your presence.’ The Psalm goes on to provide the answer that there is nowhere you can go to escape the presence of His Spirit. It is everywhere – throughout His creation. This means that whether or not we notice, in spite of the silence, God is closer to us than we can even imagine.
A few years ago, I heard Pete Greig talking about a time when he was facing huge personal challenges. Speaking from a place of profound personal experience he said:
‘There are times when God seems to be silent. But He is not absent. His silence is a new manifestation of His presence.’
(Pete Greig: Speaking at Spring Harvest, Skegness, 2019)
A prayer of St Theresa de Avila
Lord, you are closer to me than my own breath, nearer to me than my hands and feet. Amen