Proximity > < Presence

One of the “things” about wildlife photography is getting close enough to your subject. It’s often said for bird photographers, “You’re never too close and you never have too much glass”! I’d agree. Proximity is most important.

This “proximity and presence” thing came close to my heart as a dear friend was hospitalized in another town. My proximity was battling with my (lack of) presence! Not only were they hospitalized, and as much of this season our lives, visitation was restricted. As I fussed with this in my head, I was reminded of a great truth among the Lord’s people.

Because we’re bonded in the Holy Spirit through our faith in Jesus, as the Apostle Paul writes, we “do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8.4) As children of our Great God, we are one in the Spirit! Paul reminded the believers in Rome how they stood together in the Spirit . . .

Romans 15:30,
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,

When problems arose in the church in Corinth, Paul knew that proximity and presence were transcended because of the Spirit!

1 Corinthians 5:4,
In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,

All this to say, while my dear friend was hospitalized, Praised be the Lord, for we stand together in the Spirit, trusting God for what he will provide. What a blessing because of faith in the Lord Jesus that we are able to share in common (that’s the term “fellowship”) our Lord and his care. We can be most thankful that the transcendence of the Spirit of God is greater than any physical limit we face!

Again quoting the Apostle Paul,

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14

While proximity and presence are so connected in our lives and ways of thinking, know that through faith in the Lord Jesus we share a bond that is greater than anything surrounding us, confronting us, or containing us. It’s the bond that because of the grace of God, through faith in Jesus . . .

Ephesians 4:4,
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

If you’re reading and do not have this hope, this peace, this fellowship in this new life in Jesus, you can do so right now by placing your faith in Jesus. Paul wrote the church in Ephesus,

Ephesians 1:13,
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the good news of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,