How did you read the title of this post? A- "God is nowhere" or B- "God is now here."?
This may not be new to most of us but as blogging is like morphine to me, allow me to share with you in writing how A became B for me; how the pains of my 'sablay' moments in my short stint with ministry work were replaced with moments of joyful gratitude.
Honestly, I thought that working in full time ministry would give me brownie points with God. I realized through the hard way, even when I knew "It is by grace that you have been saved - through faith - it is not of yourselves so that no one may boast.." that I haven't fully understood what grace is until I had to experience it myself during one of the most trying times in my life.
When I left my former company, I would encourage some of my colleagues that God does not show favoritism; that I am not closer to God than any of them were just because I've chosen to leave behind a well-paying job in favor of a career with a Christian organization.
My teacher in Galatians class has imparted that "Religion is man's attempt to get close to God." I couldn't disagree because I've learned - the hard way - that contrary to "popular belief" religion CANNOT guarantee a person's entry to Heaven. We can ATTEMPT to go to Heaven through various good works but nothing will ever be enough.
I am not perfect, I am a sinner just like everyone else. No matter how hard I try, no matter what goodness I do, no amount of charity or good works can merit the salvation of my soul.
It came to the point (thank God that it was only for about 5 Sundays) when going to worship services became just like a duty I have to go through. I'd sing, I'd cry my heart out to God amidst all the singing, but would be "Martha-ing" all along; working hard in the wrong direction, paying attention to the less important details. In the process, I've cut down on my quiet, leisurely walks with Jesus. I've taken a leave - a sablay decision - from my "care" group and it got me here now, bruised and a little beaten.
But, hey, the good news is, nothing is ever wasted for and with God's children and I am never really beaten. The battle has already been won. God, in all His splendor and majesty, made Himself known to me right away when I mockingly asked Him, "Are you really here, Father?"
He answered with a resounding "YES" and up until now, right at this very moment while I'm blogging, He is reminding me: "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."