To help pay the bills when I am not speaking, or writing or blogging I work at Office Max. This time of year our stores are crazy busy with back-to-school shoppers. Like all of us, they want a good deal. Sometimes our best deals have a limit on how many items you can purchase. These limits are part of the back-to-school-shopping game.
The other day, while driving not far from my house, I was greeted by a festive light display in my rearview mirror. It turned out not to be as festive as it looked. The officer and I engaged in a conversation about yet another kind of limit, the speed limit. Let’s just say I try to be much more aware of those limits these days.
But limits placed by companies, governments and more are not the only limits we are forced to live with. We are limited in space and time. It is impossible for us, no matter how fast we drive, to be in two places at one time. While the use of technology often makes us “feel” like we can be in two places as once, it is just a feeling.
Speaking of technology, we live in an ever changing world of information. I have learned that the old saying is true; “the longer you learn, the more you realize how little you know.” Today you can find more information in a single issue of the Wall Street Journal than most people in the 18th century would learn in their lifetime.
I have also long understood that we are limited in our resources. The amount of physical energy we have is not limitless. Recently a group of high school athletes attempted to play baseball for 72 hours straight to raise money for a Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. They were trying to pull off the record at the Metrodome.
They called it quits at 10:30 p.m. after 40 hours, 15 minutes and 26 seconds. In all, they managed to play through 169 innings. They were hoping to play roughly 300 innings. Organizers say the reason they called off the attempt was because there were fears some players would suffer permanent injury if they continued. Many players were starting to throw balls underhand because of fatigue.
At times this life of limits can leave us feeling emotionally drained, financially strapped, spiritually dry, or mentally spent. We are limited people living in a world of limits. This limited view of life often makes it difficult for us to understand a limitless God.
In my study of the Word this week, I was again drawn to the limitless nature of God. In Jeremiah 23, as the Lord, through His prophet, talks about the false prophets who have been giving false hope to Israel. We hear these worlds;
23 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? 24 Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:23-24
Our God is not limited by space.
There was no hiding what they were doing from the eyes of the living God. David also understood this limitless attribute of God.
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. Psalm 139:7-12
Not even in the darkness are we hidden from God. Theologically we call this God’s omnipresence. Omni meaning all and presence meaning… well presence. Our God is an all present God. Because our God is not limited by space, we can be confident of His presence.
We sometimes have a hard time with this concept even in our worship music when we sing and ask God to “fill this place with your presence.” The room is already filled with his presence, we truly need to ask to be made aware of His mighty presence.