Do you remember that song that Bette Midler sang decades ago, called ‘From a distance?’ The chorus states,
“God is watching us,
God is watching us,
God is watching us from a distance”(From the song: ‘From a Distance,’ 1985 by Julie Gold)
Although it is musically very pleasing to listen to, and the lyrics are thought provoking, the song has always made me feel unutterably sad because its perspective of God is so completely opposite to who He actually is.
God doesn’t just observe us; He actively cares for us.
Far from the picture of a God that is far off in the distance, up in Heaven, observing us as we try to somehow muddle through and navigate this life all on our own, the Bible reveals to us a Father, who with tenderness, mercy, faithfulness and love, is intimately involved in the lives of His children, down to the minute detail.
Jesus reveals a clear picture of the providence of the Father in Matthew chapter 6:
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”(Matthew 6:26-33 NLT)
Jesus contrasted the life of those who don’t know God and are separated from Him with those who do know Him and receive His loving care. From the beginning to the end of the Bible, we discover a knowable, personal God. Jesus, who was God in flesh and blood, can identify with all our grief and suffering (see Hebrews 4:15)
Here are just a few scriptures to remind us today of how close He is.
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”(Psalm 34:18 NIVUK)
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!”(Psalm 139:1-5 NLT)
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”(Psalm 145:17-18 NIVUK)
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”(1 Peter 5:7 NIVUK)