1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
In June 1640, Nicolas Herman joined a monastery in Paris. He lived the rest of his life as a member of that religious community, where his main responsibilities included working in the kitchen and performing other menial tasks to support his fellow Monks.
He lived a humble life. His story could have easily been forgotten by succeeding generations, but the man who would become Brother Lawrence is remembered today because of what he recorded about his experience of God while washing the dishes and performing the other “lowly” tasks that were the work of his life.
In his book, The Practice of the Presence of God, he writes,
We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.
In this Christian classic, he also writes,
“Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think."
As you think about these words from Psalm 139 today, I want you to keep that last sentence fresh in your heart and mind.
”He is nearer to us than we think.”
It’s a remarkable insight worthy of our attention because most of us live with a very different assumption. We think of God as somehow distant or detached from our everyday existence. In doing so, we allow the life Jesus described in our passage yesterday - “life to the full” - to pass us by.
But, what if you approached today differently? What if you assumed today that in any and every circumstance, situation, or conversation you encounter this day, “He is nearer than we think?”
Perhaps you will be surprised how near God really is, and at the end of today, you too might join with the Psalmist in praise saying,
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty to attain.”
Today I want to challenge you to make the life you live today your prayer. In everything you think, speak and do, try to approach each moment as an opportunity to, “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1) Right now, claim that today will be chock full of divine opportunities that you do not want to miss to be present with God, and with God, to be present with others.
And when you lay your head down tonight, don’t forget to say “AMEN!”
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.