Where do you feel at rest and cradled in God’s peaceful and grace-filled presence? In one of our sanctuaries? In your devotion space with a hot cup of coffee or tea? Gathered with your small group or Sunday School class? On a trail in the wilderness? Soaking up the serenity of a mountain waterfall or a breathtaking mountain top view? Since our displacement from our sanctuary spaces, I have felt a deep ache within my soul. I long to be in worship with you all, in person, uninhibited and unencumbered. Yet, in the midst of our journey through the wilderness, I have found other meaningful spaces to embrace God’s comfort and rest in God’s presence.
We call it the “big bed.” We have a king-sized bed in our bedroom, and at the moment it is able to fit all 5 of us (and the cat) at one time. I have 3 cuddly children, and a husband who can tolerate cuddling in small doses. We love to pile up in the “big bed” for family snuggles. Sometimes it turns into family wrestling time with tickles, body slams, and kid sandwiches. A kid sandwich is where all 3 kids pile on top of each other. They take turns being in each position, but the most coveted one is in the middle. It can be a raucous time, and we have been lucky to have acquired only minor injuries thus far.
The “big bed” has magical powers. It brings our family together like no other space can. Over these past several months of repeated disappointment, heartache, grief, loss, and anxiety, the “big bed” has been working overtime. You see, the “big bed” is also a space where our children find comfort. It’s where they want to go to talk about difficult things, to express their sorrow, to be held as they cry or attempt to sort out life’s questions. It’s where we talk about deep things that are troubling them. They are free to express whatever they’re thinking without judgment or punishment. We work out tough problems together. Our kids know that when they climb into the “big bed,” they will find rest and comfort. They also know, that even though everything might not be fixed, they will feel much better after their time spent there.
God’s presence is like the “big bed.” Each and every one of us, children of God, long to spend time with God because our souls need it. I’m grateful that God meets us in those spaces, embraces us, is there to listen to all of our doubts, fears, anxieties, griefs, and brings us moments of peace and grace. I hope you have found a space for your soul to rest in God’s presence and know God’s comfort. God is ready to embrace you, and in God’s presence, there is always room.
Psalm 139: 1-18 (NRSV)
The Inescapable God
To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end[a]—I am still with you.