It’s a habit of mine to pray for people I love, at the end of every day. I’m sure many believers do the same. Before my eyes close in sleep every night, I do my best to recount in my mind the names and faces of all my children, my grandchildren, other family members, loved ones and friends. I ask the God of All Creation to be near those I love, protect them and keep them safe. I entrust their health and well-being to the Lord’s gentle and caring hand.

And often, as I pray, I imagine in my mind, those I’m praying for, and where they might be, at that given point in time. Some of our kids and grandkids live far away from us in Southern California. One son and his family live in our town. And we feel very fortunate that one son lives in our home, and we get to see him and converse with him every day. The geography of my prayers for my family every evening is broad, and crosses many miles. I have family members thousands of miles away  that I pray for; brothers, a sister, their children and grandchildren. I even have loved ones and friends in foreign countries that I remember in prayer.

Recently, we had a newborn baby join our clan, born to one of our nephews and his wife. What a joy to celebrate having a new baby girl in the extended family … except that, only hours after her birth, we learned of a potentially life-threatening development in her little body that would demand immediate attention by very specialized physicians. When that news came to us, my wife joined me, as we stopped what we were doing, and we prayed. We prayed, right out loud. It was not a ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’ prayer. It was specific. It was urgent. It was intense. And it began, oddly enough, with a statement about ‘geography.’

“Oh Lord,” I prayed, “our loved ones are ‘there,’ and we are ‘here.’ We cannot stand with them where they are, physically. But we can reach out to them in prayer because of you, and your omnipresence. You are here. And you are there.”

The ‘here and there’ of God’s geography is something very important, I think. I’m so limited, in many respects, because my presence physically is restricted to the space I occupy at any given moment in time. If I am standing in one particular place, well then by definition and reality, I cannot be standing in some other place at the same time. God, however, is not disabled with such a reality, because he is what theologians would call ‘omnipresent.’ He is beyond and outside of time and space, and so he watches the happenings of my life from an unencumbered and impossible to imagine vantage point.

I love the answer to the question Jer. 23:23 poses, when the Lord asks, “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.”

In fact, there can never be a ‘place’ for the omnipresent God. No matter what I am going through, no matter where I might find myself, God the Great I Am is always ‘here.’ And that concludes our geography lesson about God for today, no matter where you might be listening from.

2 thoughts on “Geography

    1. Thanks, Jan. I appreciate your encouragement so much. Always so uplifting. And a delight to work alongside you.

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