Living in the big city is hard for me sometimes. I grew up in Kelowna BC and moved to Edmonton just about 3 and a half years ago. Life in Edmonton is very different than life in Kelowna. There are some obvious reasons like the fact that I am married now and a part of a different church and have mostly different friends. But there are some other, more difficult differences. Kelowna is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. There is a big lake with a lovely beach right in the heart of downtown and a never-ending amount of trails and scenic routes to explore. I love being outside. Outside is my favourite thing. I used to spend hours and hours at the beach almost every day and went camping regularly with friends and went on walks. A lot of walks. That has changed a lot since I moved to Edmonton. In Edmonton outside is not my favourite thing. Most of the year outside hurts my face. And then the rest of the year it is beautifully scorching hot (which is almost wonderful except that there is no lake to jump into for relief). All this is not to say that I do not like Edmonton. There are some very awesome things about Edmonton, but that is not the topic of this blog post.
Outside is where I always find God. I used to go on long walks and find a rock or something to sit on and stare at the trees and just talk to God about how beautiful He is and just delight in His glorious creation. This was a big part of my life. Any time I was feeling particularly overwhelmed or sad I would leave the house and just walk (or run, back when my body allowed it) and sing and talk to my Father. I was never worried that I wouldn't find God outside. He was always outside. Oh, how I long for those days. I yearn for them. More often than not, where I am living now, I find myself asking God where He is. I look at all the tall buildings and the cement that surrounds me and I wonder "where are You, Father?". I am afraid that He is nowhere to be found in a place like this. I struggle a lot with feeling like I need to be in a certain type of place, with the right kind of ambiance, and the right kind of music, to experience God's presence. I know that there are a lot of people that feel the same way. For me, it's in nature that I feel closest to God. For you it may be alone in your bedroom with the lights turned out, or in church when the worship music is blaring and lights are shining and there is smoke filling the room, or maybe you feel the closest to God when you are reading the Bible or listening to a sermon podcast. Whatever it is, if you are anything like me, and you find that you can't seem to find God anywhere else, then this is for you.
I believe that in response to my question "Where are You, Father?", God would say to all of us today "I am WHERE YOU ARE". He promised He would be. He told us He would never leave us. Never. No matter where we go. Never ever leave us. That means that no matter if you feel Him or not where you are right now, He is still there anyways. So this is good news. This means that exactly where I am right now, sitting on the couch in my living room, without a tree or flower in sight, I can spend time in God's presence. And maybe this is old news to you and you are reading this like "duh, of course God is always with you", and maybe sometimes I might say the same thing. But right now, in the season I am in, I need to be reminded. And maybe you do to.
So I encourage you, no matter where you are right now (and I literally mean no matter where), God is there with you and if you speak to Him, He will hear you.