“Big Brother – or Sister”
By Janet Stobie
Last week, I wrote about the value of lining our year with prayer because we need God’s help. Jesus’ words, “I will be with you always even unto the end of the age,” assure us that God’s presence, strength, and comfort is always with us.
This week, I offer you Psalm 139, in which the writer also speaks about God’s inescapable presence, this time from a different perspective. Years ago, George Orwell, in his novel, “1984,” talked about the never-ending presence of “Big Brother.” In essence, the Psalmist tells us that God is that “big brother,” or “big sister” but in a very different way.
Often strangers gasp when they first discover that I am an ordained minister. Guilt flashes across their faces as they scramble to consider what they may have said or done in the half hour since they were introduced to me. That gasp tells me that they will be nervous around me for a long time. Being with “Rev. Janet” reminds them God is present with us always.
God is a guest at every meal whether or not we give thanks. God matches us stride for stride as we play hockey, ski, or run. God listens to every conversation, every thought. God is with us when we lose patience with our partner, our friend, our sibling. God knows when we claim we’re sixty-five when we’re only sixty-three in order to receive a discount. The psalmist asks, “Where can I flee from God’s presence?” and answers. “If I ascend to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there… “ (Psalm 139:8) That is when we need to gasp. Let’s live every day of 2014 fully aware of God’s presence. God offers not just help, guidance, strength, but also love and forgiveness, as well. We cannot hide anything from God. Let’s endeavor to have nothing in our lives that we would like or need to hide.