Have you ever asked yourself to define the presence of God? I mean going beyond the concept of His omnipresence. We all get that He’s every where at all times. There is more to this concept. There is solitude. There is seeking (on both parts). There is depth to the stillness and a profound sound to His love for us.
Henri Nouwen, in his book Out of Solitude says that “the secrecy of Jesus’ ministry lies in solitude” and I agree. Stepping away from all the distractions and towards the presence of the Father on a regular basis has a profound impact on you every time. Christ was able to attend the needs of the multitudes because He spent so much time alone.
And if you think about it, this is what God intended all along. When Christ died, the veil split. The presence of God was symbolically and immediately accessible. And it is this raw presence that we seek.
Solitude is just the first step in understanding God’s presence. As a parent it is almost second nature for me to crave time alone. When I do get those moments alone, God’s presence is so peaceful, because it is a sharp contrast to the every day life of chaotic schedules, needful children, deadlines, and house work. So this leads me to believe there is something deeper when the presence of God is felt outside of solitude. I just don’t know how to find it when:
- the baby is sick and generally crying, the middle child has stubbed her toe, and the oldest is arguing about having to clean his room all at the same time. Meanwhile, you’ve spilled water because you were trying to get the dishes done.
- your work has piled up because you had to take sick leave, but there’s no grace in the deadlines
- it’s wednesday night and Bible study starts at six, you get home around 5:30 pm, you shovel supper down, rush off to come home at 8:30 to a mile high pile of dishes and a dirty kitchen
- it is 10:30 at night and the kids will not stay in bed because they instinctively know you are working on the budget
I feel lime if I could tap into God’s presence in those moments, I would gain a peace that truly passes all understanding.