Be at Peace with the Inescapable Activity of God

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 10

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

–Psalm 139:7 (ESV)

How foolish it is to refuse to breathe in the air that surrounds us, to be in the open country yet find no place to stand, to be in the midst of a flood yet find no water. How foolish it is not to know God, not to taste him, not to touch his activity, which is already present in all things!

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

As David said in Psalm 139:7, the presence of God is inescapable. This truth can be either comforting or disturbing; it depends on whether or not you want to escape. If the thought of fleeing from God’s presence never occurs to you, you never need to ask yourself where to flee to.

If you choose to walk the path of abandonment to divine providence, you will never have a problem finding the providence. God’s activity is everywhere; his order is evident; his providence is inescapable. The challenge, rather, will always be in the abandonment of yourself into his hands.

The challenge is understandable (because of human nature) but also irrational (because so is human nature). There is nothing to fear in giving yourself over to God in unwavering trust. God is certainly trustworthy. In fact, abandonment is the only way that makes sense in life. To refuse is foolish. Jean Pierre de Caussade compares it to refusing to breathe.

Imagine a man standing outside yet refusing to breathe, telling you that he wants to breathe but he cannot find the air. You would know right away that the problem is in his head. This is an extreme image that de Caussade paints for us, but it tells us much about our spiritual condition. As much as we need to breathe to live, we also need to trust God to live spiritually. We claim that we are ready to trust him, if only we could find him. In reality, we do not need to find him, we need to stop trying to escape.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.