Psalm 8:1-2a – O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise. (NIV)
When I was a little girl, maybe about three-and-a-half years of age, some of my family and some visiting cousins, children, and adults were on a patch of grassy-green yard just beyond our kitchen doorsteps. It was a beautiful, early-summer mid-morning. Suddenly, my cousin, half a year older than myself, threw his arms high and wide toward great, fat, white, irregular clouds floating low in a blue, blue sky, and announced, "God is everywhere, even up there on those clouds!"
After many years, I still "see" those clouds and sky, and "hear" those words. I thank God for the gift. This was possibly my first conscious idea of divine presence, and it brought with it awareness of the glorious magnanimity of our God — our invisible, yet visible-in-His-works God.
The psalmist, David, expresses this awareness in his unique poetic fashion:
- The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
How wonderful it is, that persons of all ages, anywhere, can begin to be aware of the powerful presence of God in and through His creation!
The Psalms take us on to enjoy God in His goodness and love and providence in our personal beings:
- The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:1-4,6)
We human beings need not grow up and live long years in fear, uncertain of our place forever in the goodness and love and providence of the Holy One Who designed us to receive expanding awareness of Himself.
Not only in the Psalms, but also in many other biblical Scriptures, we have access to the assurance of God's loving presence and providence for time and eternity. We read that Paul, journeying in Athens, saw, among many idols, an altar designated "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD", so he preached to the Athenians about the Lord Jesus and the resurrection, saying, "What you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. 'In him we live and move and have our being.' Now [God] commands all people everywhere to repent. He has given proof of this to all men by raising [Jesus] from the dead." (from Acts 17:23-31)
So God's loving acceptance of our repentance and our faith in His Son Jesus — Who died for our sins and rose for our justification — enables each of us to say, "Here I am, Lord, to live and move and have my being in You for time and eternity!"
Prayer: We praise You, our loving God, for Your presence and providence. Thank You for inviting us, people of all nations, to call on You, and for promising that You will answer and show us great and wonderful things that we have not known before. Thank You that in Your presence there is fullness of joy, for You have given us Your ultimate gift: eternal life in Your Son. Amen.