Sometimes having something closer than you think is comforting, at other times not so much.
In a classic scene from the sci-fi movie Jurassic Park, as two of the characters are driving madly in a jeep being chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the camera cuts to a closeup of one of the jeep’s side mirrors. We see the raging dinosaur in the mirror, steadily gaining on the jeep, overlaid by the phrase “objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” It’s enough to make anybody squirm in their seat.
Of course, there is another perspective that might be gained from the side mirror. I’m told that the 2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the fastest street-legal car to bear the prancing stallion logo, is available with a mirror option that simply says, “objects in mirror are losing.” Wow, that’s cold!
Today’s verse tells us a truth that is both simple and profound:
HE IS NEAR
Trying to run away from God is an impossible task, even if you’re driving a Ferrari. The problem with trying to get away from an omnipresent God is that He is everywhere. If you can convince SpaceX to put you on the next rocket to the heavens, He is there. If you can get your hands on a Soviet Akula class submarine, one of the deepest diving subs in the world, and head to the very bottom of the ocean, He is there. You can’t get up early enough to sneak away, or sail far enough across an ocean. He is there. Always there.
You can’t even hide from Him in the darkest of dark places. Darkness is not dark to Him; for God the night shines like the day.
Of course, if the darkness of life is overwhelming you, that’s also the most encouraging thought you can have.
HE IS NEAR
I have several scriptures I deliberately pray through as I lay my head on the pillow at night. I begin with several verses from Psalm 16, and declare the blessing of the Lord who counsels me even as I sleep, and that night after night my heart instructs me. Then I declare that, because I set the Lord continually before me, He is at my right hand and I will not stumble.
It is good to serve a God who is near. It is good to serve a God who is EVERYWHERE at EVERY WHEN. It is encouraging to know that I can never be removed from His presence. Nothing is powerful enough to separate me from HIs love. He is the Good Shepherd who forever keeps a watchful eye on His sheep. And He is near all who call upon Him.
God remains present with us EVERYWHERE and EVERY WHEN.
Our past cannot separate us from Him. No sin we committed has enough power to rip us from His loving embrace when we have submitted ourselves to His lordship, because there is now no condemnation for our past sins when we are in Christ.
Whatever challenges or crises we face in our present, none of them have enough power to separate us from His love. In the most distressful situation, He is near. Even when we face persecution and are arrested and confined, He is near. In the midst of poverty and famine, He is near.
The future holds nothing that can steal us from the grip of His grace. Nothing in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus when He is our Lord.
HE IS NEAR
Like the person walking in a dense wood in today’s image, you may feel surrounded. The path ahead may seem blocked. But it is in those times that we learn to REST in Him, and to rely upon His closeness. He walks with us, and He will never abandon us. And even if our very lives be taken, still that is not enough to separate us from Him; for it is then that we get to see Him face to face and learn how close He has been all along.
The promise of proximity. It is not some magic bullet that claims to eliminate all evil and trouble. It is a promise that whatever may come, we never face it alone.
Like someone who has already seen the end of a movie, God knows precisely how your life ends. He sees how you will respond in free will to the leadings and promptings of His Holy Spirit. In other words, He knows those who will call upon Him and when they will do so. And those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ as they followed Him. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. Yes, He sees your future glory in heaven with Him as an accomplished fact. He sees it in the past tense. Because He can see it from the WHEN of then.
Wherever we go, we go with Him. He is closer than you think. Always.
HE IS NEAR