Swimming in God, the Omnipresent One

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on March 27, 2019

in Blogs

A little boy was afraid to get the broom out of the dark closet for his mom. She assured him, “Don’t be afraid. God is everywhere.” So the little boy cracked open the closet door and called in, “Hey, God, would you hand me the broom?” God is omnipresent. We are never alone because God is constantly with us, and so we needn’t feel lonely or be afraid. God says in Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you. . . I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls God “Most Near.” How can God be everywhere? He is the eternal, infinite spirit. He is not restricted by space or time. God is in everything he created simply by the fact that he is the cause, the source of all being. (But everything is not God or even a part of God.) God keeps everything in existence. If God stopped thinking about you, the chair you are sitting in would be empty.

St. Paul said, “In him we live and move and have our being.” God is like the air we breathe: invisible, life-giving, all around us. There is a story about a little fish who is looking for the ocean. He asks a big fish, “Where is the ocean?” The big fish replies, “It’s what you’re swimming in.” “But this is just water,” the little fish replies, and he swims on in search of the ocean. This is what we’re often like. Although we are swimming in God, we don’t realize it. Sometimes at prayer we become acutely aware of God’s presence. Beholding a fantastic piece of God’s creation  also might bring us to stand before God in awe. Most of the time we are oblivious of our Creator. 

In the beautiful Psalm 139:5–11 we sing about God’s omnipresence: “Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me. . . .Where can I go from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?/ If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, there you are. /If I take the wings of dawn and dwell beyond the sea, /Even there your hand guides me, your right hand holds me fast./ If I say, ‘Surely darkness shall hid me’. . .Darkness is not dark for you.”

Jesus promised, “I will be with you always.” The apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, a collection of sayings of Jesus, includes this one: “Split wood; I am there. Lift up a rock, you will find me there.” That’s why St. Patrick—and we—can say, “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me; Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me; Christ on my right, Christ on my left; Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height.”

God is with us the way he was with the Hebrews when they fled Egypt. God’s loving kindness (hesed) surrounds us. When Pharoah’s army was in pursuit, the Israelites called out to Moses in fright. He replied, “the Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.” God’s hesed surrounds us too.

We call Israel the holy land. But because God is everywhere, our land is holy too. And yes, God’s got the whole world in his hands.

Right now God is with you, watching you. Why? You are the apple of God’s eye!

What makes you aware of God’s presence?



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth Ann Pilney March 27, 2019 at 10:51 am

Since my childhood I have had an abiding sense of God’s presence—-even in my darkest moments. It has kept me from crossing the line, so to speak. There have been times, sorry to admit, that I wished I didn’t have such a strong consciousness. But now I’m most grateful.


Mary Collins-Smith March 28, 2019 at 6:39 pm

For me it is the sunshine when it splits me open
with a beaming light that penetrates my entire
being. I feel the warmth of God’s everpresent and abiding
love for me. ❤️


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