I have an artist friend who paints glorious landscapes in amazing detail. His depictions of the Atlantic waves breaking themselves on the rocky shores of Newfoundland, or the gentle slap of fresh water on the burnished, burnt rocks of Georgian Bay are so alive with movement and glinting sunlight on the water, I feel as I am there, wind whipping my face and hair in the seawind, the sun’s warmth browning my skin. He is able to obtain his photographic images by which he works with the skillful use of a drone, able to fly offshore in wild seas that would smash any watercraft, and skim the surface of Georgian Bay’s lovely surface as a wide-winged bird, scanning the bent trees and golden boulders.
The drone’s ability to record such breathtaking scenery brings to mind the imagery of Psalm 139:7-12: “Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night’, even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to You.” (ESV)
Is it hard to picture our God as being all present, with no little corner of the world which He cannot see? Far from trying to escape from his God, the psalmist David tells how God’s knowledge is far above our grasp. Without limit, His kingship spreads to the whole universe. As a wind of power, like those roaring off the Atlantic, His Spirit is shown as an essential face of God’s being and presence. To soar to heaven is to perceive His glory, to swoop to the grave is to see His justice, and to travel all the earth is to experience His presence everywhere.
The imagery of winged Morning is a celebration of light’s expanse and speed, filling the sky from utter east to final west, yet not even the awesome speed of light can outrun our God’s presence and understanding. Even at life’s end, His hand leads us: “For I am sure that neither death nor life…….nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 37-38 ESV) As God led the people of Israel in the desert so long ago, He was a pillar of light in the nighttime, making it shine like day.
When we feel far from our God, as if He can’t see us or know us from afar, take comfort in the wonderful poetry, and light-filled imagery of His beautiful skies. He needs no drone to see us in our busy lives, for He is near and understands us completely. Draw close to Him and don’t fear the darkness, for His hand will lead you, and His right hand shall hold you.
Prayer: Be near us, O Lord, in our darkness. Bring us to heaven to see You in glory, and show us the expanse of Your earth and heavens, in which You are always present. Light our lives with the knowledge that You will lead us, and hold us in Your hand. Amen.