God Is Closer Than You Think
Yesterday I preached a sermon that ended up being deeply personal.
It didn't start off that way.
I was preaching on the topic of how we need to dismantle the boxes we create to try and fit God into, and was focused on the box we tend to label, "The Absent God."
In other words, I was taking on the big question that so many of ask, "Where is God when it hurts?" My point was that God is closer than we think--that God is with us in our brokenness, sorrow and even with us when we feel the loss of God.
You can watch the sermon here, if you want. Just click these words.
And I felt pretty good about the sermon. I even had a nice illustration that was about someone else's experience with the presence of God in their life.
But when I sat in my office yesterday morning going over the sermon, I knew that I needed to tell my own story. So, after wrestling with it for a bit, I decided to share an experience I had with God's presence on the day my mother died.
The fact that yesterday was the two-year anniversary of her death was a part of it, I know. And maybe I needed to hear my own words more than anyone, so there's that, too.
There were other people who needed to hear it, too. Some of them told me so, which was a tremendous grace and blessing to me.
Then this morning as I was drinking my coffee and reading my selection of morning readings, I read this poem by the British poet William Blake:
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh
And they maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear
And thy maker is not near.
O! he gives to us his joy
That our grief he may destroy;
Till our grief is fled & gone
He doth sit by us and moan.
Coincidence? Could be, I guess.
But I choose to live in a world that is full of more wonder than that.
I choose to believe that when you live heart-forward and pour out your cries and pleas, desires and prayers into the Universe... the Universe [God] pours it back to you, and if you are willing to see it that way, it can give you so much comfort.
It can remind you over and again that you aren't alone.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.