The voyage was arduous. The Spanish sailors navigated their small ship into the headwaters of the Amazon. They just didn't know it. The mouth of the mighty river was so massive that the sailors assumed it was a continuation of the Atlantic Ocean.
Thinking the water salty, the idea of drinking it was out of the question. No one even tested it. Tragically, some dehydrated seamen literally died of thirst while floating on the world’s largest source of fresh water.
Perception was definitely not reality!
That historical paradox is strikingly similar to the experience of many people today---perhaps even of you. Perched on a crow's nest of curiosity we crane our necks to catch a glimpse of the Divine, while all the while God is so much closer than we think.
How close is God?
Is God in heaven, examining our affairs like the captain of the blimp looking down on Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade? Or is he closer, perhaps like a neighbor who drops into our lives from time-to-time? Or is God like a doctor on call, ready in a time of need, but not so close you would sit down for a cup of coffee.
No, he’s much closer than that!
The apostle Paul put God’s proximity into perspective when striking up a conversation with a group of spiritual seekers. In fact, he pinpointed God’s exact location on the map of human existence.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17:26-28 ESV
When it comes to God’s location the question is never, “How close is God?” Why? Because God is everywhere! He fills up heaven and earth. The theological term is “immensity.” God is so huge you cannot fence him. This is why the Psalmist said,
The sailors died of thirst because their perception dictated their action. Don’t make the same mistake. Whether God seems a million miles away, just around the block, or standing on the other side of the fence, he is so much closer than that.
In him you live and move and have your being. So . . .
- Thank him that he is near.
- Reach out to him.
- Ask him for help with your pressing problem.
- Talk with him about that challenge your friend is facing.
- Enjoy his presence right now . . . and all day long.
God is so much closer than you think. Why not live like it?