In this stage of COVID-19 I think we all have a sense of being wearied with it all. It’s so much bigger than we are. Where is God in this? Does He care? How do we find our way out of it? Is there a way out?

King David wrote, “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Thy hand will lead me and Thy right hand will hold me.” Psalms 139: 7-10 (NAS)

David is not trying to flee God’s presence. I picture him sitting on the porch of his great palace in Jerusalem and looking up into the night sky. He begins to think about the vastness of the universe and muse about the God who created that universe. He asks a philosophical question: is it possible to get away from God’s presence? Heaven? Nope, God is there. Hell? Nope, God was there. Can I go beyond the sunrise? Nope. God’s there, too. How about going into the deepest part of the oceans? Nope. COVID-19? No. God is even in it. How? I do not know. But His purposes are being worked out.

His presence is higher, deeper, wider than anything we can encounter. It is not just in physical places but emotional places as well. In our highs and lows. Our joys and sorrows. Also in our spiritual places. Times when feel God is absent or silent. Times when we feel on top of the world.

But hell? That seems like a contradiction. You may ask, “Isn’t a definition of hell as the absence of God’s presence?” David clearly says that if we go into hell He is there. How many of us have had our own personal emotional hell? Abuse. Betrayal. Financial ruin. Loss of reputation. Or a physical hell. Of chronic pain. Illness. COVID-19. God is there with you. Graciously God sent His Son to hell so that we won’t ever have to experience absence from God’s presence. Jesus went there to set the captives free. He obtained the victory over everything – including your own personal hell. You are free.

Perhaps you have tried to run away from God. You cannot flee. He follows after you to draw you to Himself. And He is persistent. He has been called “the hound of heaven.” He is not limited by time or space. He knows where you live and seeks you out. Nothing you have done creates a distance too great for God to touch your life with His forgiveness and restoration. Nothing can separate you from His love – absolutely nothing. Yield to His gracious love and find the freedom for which you truly long.

Take a moment, where would you go to get away from God? Have you tried? Now think of God’s inescapable presence. Imagine Him there with you now. He is all that you need Him to be right this minute. Tell Him what you are thinking. You cannot shock Him. His love and presence are inescapable. Take joy in knowing that you are totally known and totally loved. You are secure.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that there is nowhere I can go to get away from You. I need Your presence. I need to feel it right now. I need to know You are there like You promised. I want Your presence to bring comfort but I confess that at times it scares me. I don’t feel good enough but accept by faith that You accept me.

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