We were in a large room at church, attending a class called “Sensing God’s Presence.” Our table facilitator asked about our “experience of sensing God’s presence.”
Kim was slumped at our group’s table. When her turn came to talk, she sighed and said, “I don’t know…I want to feel God’s presence…but I haven’t lately….”
No one jumped in with a biblical bromide or painted word pictures of daffodils and bluebirds as evidence of God’s hand. I felt sorry for her and couldn’t understand how anyone couldn’t sense God here and there and over there!
I didn’t tell the table that even when I claimed to be agnostic, I knew God was omnipresent, that’s why I was too afraid to label myself atheist. (It was Jesus and all those bible stories – stories: a synonym for lies – that I doubted.)
Two years later I ran into Kim at another class at church. We did some quick catching up. She and her husband were to be officially divorced in a few weeks.
Her husband. I’d met him once right before a church service and felt as though I’d been introduced to a dry sack of resignation. He didn’t even try to fake being alive during the introductions. I knew then their marriage could not be good.
So, yeah, I understood, kinda, why Kim wasn’t feeling the big I Am’s presence. Because life stinks, she couldn’t sense God’s presence. And yet, the bible is full of bad things happening to people of faith who continued to sense God’s presence.
I call it the Lucky Charm God syndrome.
If life is good, God is present.
If life is bad, God is absent.
If God seems absent, it’s because He was not invited. He was puposefully excluded or thoughtlessly ignored.
If we act as though God is absent, then Satan is present.
But the universe God created is here and operating as He wills it, whether we SENSE Him or not.
God is present always. If we don’t know and act upon that truth, then what is it that we are sensing and responding to if not God?
There are only a few other choices. Flesh. Satan. Worldly culture.
Psalm 139 New International Version (NIV)
7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.