Closer than You Think

Note: This blog is part of a Thanksgiving series of blogs highlighting attributes of God for which I am thankful.

Have you ever felt alone? Forsaken? Abandoned? Forgotten?

There’s a pathos in Psalm 142:4 that I think we can all identify with: “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.”

And perhaps you’ve felt a similar anguish to Job’s when he seemed to search for God’s presence in vain: “Behold, I go forward,” he cried out, “but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him” (Job 32:8–9)

If you’re there right now, could I tell you something?

God is near.

He is nearer than you think, nearer than you feel.

Even Jacob, the vagabond, discovered this truth. He fled for his life, having left his honor behind, and he found himself in the wilderness with no one—not one soul knew where Jacob was at that moment.

With stones for a pillow, the desolate wanderer slept under the stars. But there, far from God and family, he discovered the truth: God was nearer than he believed.

God appeared to Jacob in his dream, and when he awoke, his first words were, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not” (Genesis 28:16).

You may feel that God is far away. You may be convinced of His absence in your life. You may think He has forgotten you. But He is near, so near—present.

How do I know?

Jacob proves it is possible that God is near when we don’t sense His presence. Job proves that God doesn’t always work according to our ways. And David proves that God doesn’t always work on our timetable.

But God promises that regardless of our senses and in spite of our doubt, He is always near: “he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper” (Hebrews 13:5–6).

I’m thankful today for God’s nearness.

Which leads me to O. This near God, this very present help in trouble God, is near everybody, all at the same time. He is omnipresent. Had Jacob, Job, David, you, and I lived all at the same time, God would have been near to every one of us.

He wouldn’t be near to Job and far from you.

What attribute(s) of God are you thankful for that begin with N and/or O?