Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 15, 2012

The Nearness of God


My very first grandchild is expected to arrive in seven short weeks. To say that I am excited is quite an understatement. I can hardly wait to see my precious grandson, much less actually cradle him in my arms. Yet, while I’m sure we’ll see plenty of pictures once he arrives, the holding part will have to wait for a while since my son and daughter-in-law are living and serving in Chile.

The past few months as we’ve awaited our grandson’s arrival, I’ve been counseled by not a few real grandmothers – real as in they have already experienced having real babies for grandchildren instead of grand doggies and kitties. Without exception, these grandmothers have told me how wonderful being a grandmother is. But one thing that practically everyone has shared, troubles me. Usually, they confide that being a grandmother is so much better than being a mother and then they add, “You just love them, spoil them rotten, and send them home.”

First of all, I cannot imagine anything better than being a mom. If being a grandmother is better than that, then no wonder they call our senior years, the golden years! But while I may be able to love from a distance, the spoiling rotten part may prove a little difficult. Living thousands of miles away, there can be no spending the night with Gramma and Grampa, no nodding off to sleep in Gramma’s lap, no bribing Gramma for a cookie or Grampa for a quarter. We’re talking, long-distance grand parenting! And that’s what troubles me!

But then I remembered one of my favorite portions of Scripture, Psalm 139. This psalm speaks not only of God’s perfect knowledge of me, but also of His loving presence with me – and not just me, but with each and every person He creates. And just like the psalmist David, I, too just have to exclaim: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6). Our God is a God who is near. He is so near to me that He knows my thoughts, but even more He understands my thoughts. He knows my path, but even more He comprehends my path. He is aware of all my ways and all those little idiosyncrasies that make me the peculiar person I am. He surrounds me with His protection. And what absolutely takes my breath away, He lays His hand upon me. I am protected, comforted, guarded by the very hand of God!

While I rejoice over God’s nearness to me, however, I honestly cannot put into words what this means to me as a mother and grandmother. Not only is God near to me, but I know He is also with my children and grandchildren the same way. Even now before my grandson is born, God is near to Him. I cannot read the following verses without thinking about my soon-to-be-born little grandson.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

(Psalm 139:13-16)

God knows my grandson. He knows everything about him. He knows the color of his eyes and hair, as well as his attitude and temperament. God knows who he’ll look like and who he’ll act like! He knows the talents and gifts that he has given specifically to this dear child. God also knows what the days ahead hold for this child – the troubles and problems, the joys and delights. And it was no surprise at all to God that this child will be born in Chile, thousands of miles from his Gramma. It was all in the plan, the days that God fashioned for this child – and the days that God fashioned for me as well.

It makes it a little easier to be separated from those we love when we realize that the God who made us, who planned our days, and who knows us better than we know ourselves, does not just drop us into this world and forget about us. He stays near. He walks where we walk. He listens when we talk. He surrounds us with His presence. There is a reason behind the way our lives unfold and the One who designed it is in control. That brings peace to this mama and soon-to-be gramma’s heart.

Like any real grandmother who does her job well, I am sure that I will find a way to love across the miles and even find a few ways to accomplish some long-distance spoiling! But more importantly, I know that God is near and that He will keep my little grandson under His watchful eye. How precious these verses are to me!

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.”

(Psalm 139:1-6)

“God, who made the world and everything in it … does not dwell in temples made with hands. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being ….”

(Acts 17:24, 26-28a).




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