Not Far

“So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 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 to 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, for “‘In Him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed His offspring.’” Acts 17:22-28

Insight

One thing I love about God is His sense of humor. I’m am a huge fan of comedy shows like The OfficeParks & Rec, Superstore, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine just to name a few. These shows have helped in further developing the already comedic aspect of my personality. Regardless of my humor, I fully believe God’s humor comes with a little bit of sass such as making me write about a verse which reminds me everything is going to be okay.

To give some context, as I am writing this devotional, I am currently trying to keep my head from spinning off my shoulders with all of the curve balls life has thrown my way. I got married in February and life with my wife has been AWESOME. We are currently entering into the home-owning phase and trying to jump through those hoops, so this is certainly giving my mind a workout. This by itself is a lot to process but now I am suddenly in a unforseen battle with the DMV. Apparently, somewhere along the way there was a glitch in my registration renewal and now I am trying to avoid having to surrender my license plate for 30 days.

Life is truly a wild ride.

As I sit here trying to focus, this passage reminds me, “He is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being…’” When life is going everywhere but where we want it to, we can tend to feel as though God is suddenly far away. We do not mean to do it, but when life does not go our way our thinking tends to default to Jesus disappearing. It is as though for a moment we forget what Jesus has promised.

One of Jesus’ most important promises is He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20). Our emotions can’t change the reality of this promise. As someone who is extremely in touch with his emotions, promises keep me focused on who Jesus is versus what my feelings are trying to tell me.

I am not in the best emotional state as I think about finances and the fact the DMV is trying to get their hands on my license plate because of a mistake, yet I am not alone. I know in the midst of this glass cage of emotion Jesus is with me. He cares for me. He will work all things out for a greater purpose. He will still be my Papa, and I will still be His son.

Jesus’ name is the declaration we need when we feel as though He is not with us. His name is also Emmanuel which means God with us. For me, I like to think of it as, God is present. When I remind myself God is present, I can feel my heart rate slow and my mind begin to calm. I rest in the reality of Jesus not only being where I am, I also rest in the fact He is actively involved in my life. He is present and this means He is walking every step of the way with me.

Sometimes Jesus working in my life means He is reminding me how much He loves me and cares about every aspect of my life. As I finish this post, I do not own a home, finances are still lame and I still do not have my DMV issue resolved, yet I am reminded Jesus is present. With this reminder I can take a deep breath and have joy because I do not go anywhere alone, I know I go with my Papa.

Reflection

  • We all face moments in life where we feel as though Jesus has disappeared. What is your typical response to these moments?

  • Re-read Matthew 28:20 and think about the implications of Jesus always being with us. How does this promise speak to you? Keep this verse in your heart and mind so it can be recalled when your emotions try to tell you otherwise.

Prayer

Father, thank You for always being present in my life. Surely life can be tough and lonely, but You have promised to never leave me. This changes everything because I know the One who saved my soul is always going to be with me. When life tries to tell me I am alone, I pray You remind me how present You truly are. I love You Father, and pray all of this in Your holy name, Amen.

PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.

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