Jeremiah 23:23-24 “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.”
As a young boy, I ran with some characters. We would play such pranks as ‘Ding Dong, Ditch’ where you ring a person’s doorbell and run away. Winter was particular fun… that is, until that fateful day.
Our neighborhood was such that we knew every shortcut through the houses. Our experience playing ‘Hide and Seek’ using the whole block made for some long but interesting games. This all came into play one winter night when my so called friends and I were throwing snowballs at passing cars.
Now what seemed to be fun at the time wasn’t very well thought through – especially when the next car we hit was a police car! The car stopped, lights flashing and both officers came out running. We all scattered like cockroaches in the light. One of my buddies was carrying a bit more weight than all of us took off down the sidewalk to his house and was easily apprehended.
As I began to run, I sensed that the other officer was hot on my tail. I took some of my familiar shortcuts and was utterly surprised to find he was closing in! I knew of a secret place underneath an elderly woman’s porch that had a panel you could push in and once you were in, you could close it behind you.
As I closed the panel behind me, I heard the other officer join his friend. They began to speak loudly as to how they were going to jail that little punk who threw the snowball. I peered out of the slat and saw their boots – right outside the panel where I was hiding. All of the sudden, their radio sounded and they were off.
My heart, that was beating out of my chest, finally started to beat regularly. I waited what seemed like an eternity before I came out. As I pulled the panel and emerged from my hiding place, I saw the place where the officers were standing. But then I saw my own footprints in the snow leading right to the panel and disappearing. They knew exactly where I was!
Needless to say my days of throwing snowballs at moving cars ended with the fear that those same officers were still looking for us waiting to throw us in jail. I remembered this story in light of the verses I read today.
“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?”
God is everywhere, all the time. We call that His Omnipresence. I am particularly aware when I think that there is no secret sin; no secret place where I can hide from the eyes of God. While sitting at my computer, looking on my tablet or phone, God sees what I see. I can go to a town where no one knows my name thinking I can act as I please; operate in the dark or try to disguise myself from man, I am a fool.
While the threat of incarceration kept me from throwing another snowball at cars, the knowledge that God is with me wherever and whenever pictures God in the room with me as I choose sin. It can be a mighty deterrent to envision the Son of God right next to you as you view pornography; argue with your friend family or spouse.
If Jesus sat right next to you as you watch that movie or program, would He approve of the language, the situations and circumstances or even how they view Him or speak His name? Often, religion presents God as an old man on his throne casting thunderbolts of judgment.
To truly acknowledge and appreciate the presence of God in our lives, we must experience Him personally.
Psalm 139:15 “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”
Luke 12:7 “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
God knows more about us than we are willing to admit or even comprehend. But, when we embrace the fact that God knows us more intimately that we know ourselves, it can be a comfort when we are at a loss to figure out a problem or feel overwhelmed at situations or circumstances in our life. His thoughts to us are far above anything our minds could ever process.
Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
God will always see where our footsteps lead because He traveled with us as we went. Consider this truth:
Hebrews 13:5 “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
At the time when you and I feel most alone – our feelings betray the truth God wants us to embrace. Jesus left His disciples and tells us today:
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
With me – always. Believe it.