What I’m Thinking: The Presence of God

Psalm 139 uses some of the Bible’s most evocative poetry to impress the nearness of God on its hearers. How do you feel about the presence of God in the midst of a pandemic?

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about Psalm 139 (Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24). The Book of Psalms is filled with rich and evocative poetry, but some of the most magnificent imagery in the entire book is found here in Psalm 139. “If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, you are there, and your hand shall lead me.”

Psalm 139 is a song about the presence of God, the presence of God that is not limited by geographical place. It’s not even limited by time of life. It’s not even limited by stress and hardship.

In this time of pandemic, I find myself both reaching towards the presence of God and also turning away from the presence of God. I reach towards God because I need God so badly amidst all the stresses. We need God so badly to provide some healing for those who are ill and to provide healing for a society that has been so, so reckless, so selfish, so unconcerned with the fates of others, so wedded to wealth and to pride. Healing for people who are ill; healing for a culture that is ill. Healing for a culture that still cannot accept people of color as fully human, fully made in the image of the Divine.

And yet I find I also shy away because I fear disappointment. I fear that prayer that goes out into the void and the void says nothing – even as I wait for the voice of God.

The Psalmist was fully acquainted with the stresses and woes of that time. From those stresses and woes, but also from experiences of profound compassion and grace, the Psalmist spoke of the presence of God to be found in every place, and in that presence, blessing.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on July 13, 2020

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