“If we keep ourselves in the presence of God we shall neither think nor say nor do what is wrong, convinced as we are that God is the witness of all the thoughts and words and actions”
+ Saint John Chrysostom
In the presence of God the whole world dwells, for even the numbers of the hairs of our head do not fall out of His sight. So what could possibly make His creation doubt in His Omnipresence? As I was sitting on the floors of the Church I looked at a good friend sitting across from me, and as they started talking they did not forget to mention how the Lord God never stopped covering them all throughout the day. In this very moment, I was able to figure out the first way in which we can feel the presence of God and His nearness to us: seeing Him in every set of eyes we meet, for this is also the fulfillment of the great commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself”
For indeed, the biggest block in which a penitent stumbles is the difficulty to hear God’s voice in his life. After having prayed many prayers and received nothing (which often just means that the person has prayed so they may waste it on their personal pleasure, or just that God has a greater plan in store), this is usually the source of all despair which leads to us lacking the belief in God’s presence and His loving kindness to us.
Then again, we might come across such difficulty in our lives that makes us question the big unnecessary question “Why would a loving God bring such burden in my life?” (P.S. Burdens don’t include that Orgo exam you have next week). Have you forgotten that God allows that crosses may be brought onto us so that we may resemble Him in everything, then so that we may attain a greater and greater heavenly reward. For He was the One, that carried the ultimate Cross, the Cross of the sin of mankind; all this, and He did not even need us to exist “You had no need of my servitude but rather I had need of Your Lordship” (Gregorian Liturgy).
I tell you ,my Lord’s beloved people, every time one of the members of the Body doubts in Him, it is only one more nail in Him. Have we forgotten St. Peter the Seal of the Martyrs, for Christ Himself appeared to Him in a ripped garment telling Him that the doubter (Arius) is the reason behind the damage of His robe, for he (Arius) has separated Him from His Father. It is likewise that every time we lack the belief in God’s presence that we separate ourselves away from eternal life.
“Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed” (John 20:29).
He showed His great care for our souls, for He is good, and wills that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, according to the Scripture.
Don’t worry, God is long-suffering, abundant in mercy and great in compassion. He will have mercy upon you in time of need, according to His mercy, His ultimate Providence. The God who created everything for you and gave you dominion over all His creation will rescue you.
If we are weary of having prayed many times and received nothing, consider the times you have prayed and received a multitude of blessings and openings to many doors that the human mind
could have never imagined were possible. For “How unsearchable are Your judgements and Your ways past finding out” (Romans 11:33).
If we are weary of having asked and not yet received, remember the time you randomly selected a sermon on YouTube and it was exactly what you asked.
If you have ever lacked the belief in His presence, open His Words for He invites us saying “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”
The Lord is not going to walk in and sit down with us, but indeed, He is always with us, in us and in the midst of us.
Let us pray saying “O Lord, though I cannot comprehend You and do not understand Your ways, I nonetheless trust in Your mercy”
Let us pray. Enter into your room, stare at one icon and close your eyes, so that all that is left is you in the presence of the saint in the icon. (Mentioned by Fr. Matthew the Poor, in his masterpiece “Orthodox Prayer Life”)
Remember my sisters and brothers, that no matter what the burden or the cause that made you feel the absence of God, He will take care of it. Whether by seeing Him work through and in a person you have met or by just having this kind of feeling that Someone that is above everyone, with such Higher Power and Divine Attributes is existing and existed before all ages. Believe that you will be okay, even if you fail to find Him, but in the most profound depth of your heart you are looking for Him, He will find you; for He is the Good Shepherd who takes away the sins of the world and wishes that “we may reign with Him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20). For even when He sits down, we sit with Him, for Him being the Head and us being the Body, we can never be separated from Him (Homilies on Ephesians 2 by St. John Chrysostom).