Can’t be everywhere at once? Rest in the omnipresence of God.
“How likely is it for me to be struck by this lightning that is striking a stone’s throw from my drenched head?” I wondered as I scurried across the ankle-deep puddles in the hospital parking lot toward my vehicle.
“Probably as statistically small of a chance as this rare form of breast cancer Mom is fighting right now” I responded to myself as I finally reached my SUV. “Which means it’s possible and would be just my luck.”
I picked my mom up at the entrance of the hospital. We were nervously chuckling at our present situation. Here we were: an early hospital morning for her surgical port placement, tornado warnings alerting our phones every five minutes, an ominous sky, and the knowledge we had to drive across town for her very first chemotherapy treatment- a treatment serving as the chaser for her double mastectomy.
“You got this, God,” we told Him as we plugged in the oncologist’s address and started the drive.
I was internally calm until the next tornado alert apprised me to the reality that people within our county, an hour south of our present location, needed to take immediate cover from the potential of a life-threatening storm.
“I’ll call my dad to go get the kids from school,” I told my mom as I grasped for my phone.
But then I realized that would make him unsafe. And wouldn’t solve the problem because our youngest was at another location. Then I realized my rancher husband was working cattle out in the open amidst barns of galvanized metal and my mother-in-law was probably in the route of the storm going to retrieve my toddler from her play school. Plus, the mere process of me driving was growing increasingly challenging, to the point that all vehicles on the interstate were driving at a slow roll because no one had visibility. And the road was flooding.
Pretty much everyone in my “most-loved” circle was in the warning phase of potential peril. From tornado to cancer to me possibly hydroplaning.
Oddly enough, I didn’t go into full-out panic; instead, the peace of God entered my consciousness.
“Good thing God can be all places at once, because we certainly can’t right now,” I told Mom as we watched the lighting practically strike the cars in front of us. “I guess we just have to trust He can handle it all.”
Do you ever have situations like this? Where you feel the need to “rescue” everyone (including yourself) from a situation, but you physically can’t be in the presence of all the ones who you think need you? And, you know you don’t exactly have the power for any rescue operations.
Draw into the same peace that interrupted my almost frantic panic: God is omnipresent. God is with all of us from beginning to end.
Isn’t it reassuring? God is everywhere. He is with all of us right now.
When I was tempted to panic, I reminded myself that God is with my children as a tornado might enter their zip code. God is with my husband out on the farm. God is with me as I was driving through the storm. And God is with my mom as she was about to have her first chemotherapy infusion.
Our Savior walks with every single one of us. At the exact same time. Every single moment of the day and night.
We can’t be in more than one place at a time, but He is in all places at all times.
Lest you need a reminder, sweet reader friend, know that God is with you right now, too.
Distance doesn’t matter. Location doesn’t matter. Whether you are reading this from a remote mountain vista or a crowded city by the beach, know that He is with you. And He is with all your loved ones.
Our God never sleeps.
He never hunkers down when the tornado sirens sound.
He never turns on caution lights and drives through the pelting rain.
He never clocks out of work.
Our God never stops holding the hearts of all of us fighting any storm of life.
Did you see that former sentence? “All of us,” not “some of us,” He is with us ALL.
Psalm 139:1-12 (NLT) gives us this joy:
“O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
Even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness, I cannot hide from you.
To you, the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.”
Next time you become panicked about not being able to “save” someone, “be with someone,” or “take yourself out of a situation or trial,” know that our loved ones are not alone, nor are we ever alone. God is always present; we must rest in the omnipresence of His very being.
In my situation, I’m happy to say we made it to the first day of chemotherapy.
No tornado decimated my loved ones.
And I didn’t get struck by lightning.
Instead, I was struck with the illuminating truth that, to paraphrase Psalm 139:5, God goes before and follows ALL His children.
Sarah Philpott, Ph.D, is the author of the award-winning book: Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss and The Growing Season: A Year of Down-on-the-Farm Devotions. Sarah lives in Tennessee on a cattle farm where she raises her four mischievous children and is farm wife to her high-school sweetheart. She doesn’t share desserts.