When God Seems Distant: A Meditation on the Omnipresence of God

We have all experienced times in our life when God seems distant, quite far from our heart and mind. Perhaps we been influenced in this experience by disappointment, loss, grief, depression or boredom. Praying seems hard, and God seems to hide his face.

Some years ago, I was given a prayer card of sorts; really more of a spiritual “bookmark” that said the following

How can I find God when he seems so far?




Ah, careful, the harder you look, the more distance you create between Him and you.”




So what can I do about the distance?”



Understand that it isn’t there.”



Does that mean that God and I are one?”



No, not one. Yet, not two.



How is that possible?




The sun and its light,
the ocean and the wave,
the singer and his song
–not one….not two.

One of the great mysteries and balances of theology is to grasp that God is transcendent and “other,” not to be equated with the sum total of his creation (pantheism). For he transcends, is above, beyond and greater than all he has made. And yet, he is also present to everything he has made and sustains every fiber of being in this universe, and every atom, molecule and cell of my being. He is closer to me than I am to myself.

Colossians 1:17 says of Jesus: All things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Yes, this world is created by the will and love of God and held together by him and in him.

A letter was addressed to one Jane Crofut by her minister in the Thornton Wilder play “Our Town” and the address went like this

Jane Crofut
The Crofut Farm
Grover’s Corners
Sutton County
New Hampshire
United States of America
Continent of North America
Western Hemisphere
The Earth
The Solar System
The Universe
The mind of God

Yes, we caught up in the heart and mind of God, and Christ holds all creation together in himself. We are the result of his love, and not just at our conception, at every moment, every beat of our heart, every thought of our mind, every movement of our body, every stirring of our soul, all sustained by him, and rooted in him as first cause.

He is not far, just feel the beating of your heart, the breeze on your cheek, the warmth of the sun, and behold the color purple behold those you love, even those you struggle to love. Even the thoughts we sometimes have that God seems distant would not be possible unless he were close, very close and sustaining every fiber of our being. He is closer to me than the sun is to its light, the ocean is to its wave, the singer is to his song. He is closer to me than I am to myself.

Where is God, when he seems so distant? Not far. Not far at all.

14 Replies to “When God Seems Distant: A Meditation on the Omnipresence of God”

  1. Perhaps we been influenced in this experience by disappointment, loss, grief, depression or boredom.

    I would add to this that perhaps we have been taught to think this. We’ve been taught (by society, by culture, by those close to us, by teachers, etc.) that God should do this or do that. As a result, we have all sorts of unrealistic expectations. And when God appears to not meet those expectations in the way that we ourselves have demanded that He meet them, there is disillusionment, there is a false sense that He is not “there.”

    In truth, God is not distant. God is always right next to us, holding our hand. Rather, it is we who are distant from Him, so that, while He is in fact right next to us, He seems to be miles away. He could be shouting in our ears right now, but we are deaf to Him and think Him silent.

  2. I am . . .
    Stephanie Abrahams
    Booysen Park
    Port Elizabeth
    Republic of South Africa
    continent of Africa
    Southern hemisphere
    The earth
    The solar system
    The universe
    The mind of God

  3. Experience has taught me that God is never far from any of us. When He seems to be so far away, that is when He is closest to us. God is as close as the skin to the flesh.

  4. I have come to think that God is most near in those experiences in which we have lost our sense of time, or when we relive experiences, as in post-traumatic stress. Several times I have been shocked that i was not killed–or I did not kill someone else–in car “incidents.” It was not until I read an account of one of the students who survived the VA Tech shooting rampage that I realized that God must be especially close at these times. The student describe laying on the classroom floor, pretending to be dead, as the gunman was firing at students in the classroom. He said that he had no idea how much time had lapsed and was amazed that he was not shot in the midst of such incredible violence.

  5. GOD is my sight, allowing me to see the devil. My breathe to continue the passion. My blood to fuel the energy. My heart to love the church. My back to carry the load. My feet to be steadfast. My voice to spread the Word. My hands to hold the weak. My soul to hold it together. My past to learn. My future to do your will. My rest to be at peace. My love to serve and know you!
    Thank you GOD for your love; your forgiveness; for allowing me to serve those lost ones.

  6. I’m too from almost that part of the mind of God as Stephanie Abrahams above – perhaps a tiny bit westward?

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