It’s a question asked many times since Mr Shakespeare wrote it; and a question we often ignore, or pretend isn’t even there, until life pulls us up short and demands we think about it. The question today is about being in God’s Presence – or not. “To be in God’s presence, or not to be in God’s presence, that is the question.”
It’s actually the ultimate question of human existence, both temporally and eternally. Designed in His image and created to enjoy spending time with Him – “The LORD God…was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called out to the man, ‘Where are you?’ (Genesis 3v8&9); when sin entered the world it’s result was to remove us from God’s presence – “The LORD God banished him (Adam) from the Garden of Eden…after he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3 v23&24). Ever since then, in one way or another, we have tried to find our way back into God’s presence. Each and every one of us has that “God-shaped hole in our heart.”
The only way that hole can be filled is with God’s own help – in the Person of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, Who took our sin and our guilt and allowed it to nail Him to the Cross and send Him to the grave. His resurrection from the dead opens up the way for us to once again enjoy the Presence of God here and now, and for eternity. Let’s think about the here and now bit – if you have put your faith in Jesus you are declared forgiven, free and adopted as a son or daughter of God, with unlimited access to His Loving Presence – how aware are you of that Presence, and how often do you make a conscious effort to recognise it? Can I gently suggest that it’s all too easy for us to get so busy doing things for God that we often neglect time with God? And may I also suggest that at such a time as we are now living in it’s more important than ever that we do take time to simply be in His presence? Find a place, and a time and simply come into God’s presence and recognise that He is there – no agenda, no prayer list, just a “Here I am Lord, I want to be with You” kind of moment. Time to, “Be still, and know that I am God,” to know that, “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46v10&11). In a time when there is so much about self care and looking after ourselves through this pandemic, this is actually the very best way we could possibly go about it.
So – to be in God’s presence, or not to be? I hope and pray that we can all find time to stop, and rest in His Presence, be reminded that we are loved with an everlasting love, and to rest secure knowing that whatever happens, He’s got us. And He will never let go.
God bless, stay well