September 11th….all you have to do is say the date and every person around you knows the year you are talking about and can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when our country was attacked by terrorist, changing the world as we know it forever. For me, I was standing in the gymnasium of North Cobb Christian School as the chapel speaker for the elementary school chapel. They had assigned me the topic of “the omnipresence of God.” How ironic?
I remember preparing my message and wondering how in the world I was going to take a concept like the omnipresence of God and put it on an elementary student’s level. After all, many adults have a difficult time understanding the concept.
I had a student come down and stand beside me. I asked her “Can you describe wind to me using your 5 senses?” She replied, “I don’t know what it looks like, but I know it exists. I can see the leaves move when the wind blows. I can’t smell it or touch it, but it can touch me. Sometimes I feel it on my face.”
I had her stand in front of a box fan and turned it on high. Her hair was long so it blew out standing parallel to the floor. Everyone laughed. “How did your hair stand out like that?” I asked. “The wind from the fan made it blow out like that.” She replied.
We talked about how even though you couldn’t see the wind, you could see evidence that the wind had come through a place, like the bending of the trees, the waving of the flag, or making her hair stand out. I reminded them you couldn’t see air, but you could see evidence of it filling your lungs by watching your chest rise and fall with each breath.
I looked to the students and told them the point of the experiment was to remind them “Just like air, God is there!” You can’t see Him or smell Him or even touch Him, but you can feel touched by Him. You know when He has been present. You can see the evidence of His presence even when you can’t see Him.
Little did I know as I walked out of the gymnasium that morning, God had orchestrated the chapel topic because we- the students, the teachers, and the speaker- would need to be reminded that God is everywhere all the time. As I climbed into the car and heard the terror of the announcers on the radio, I couldn’t help but thank God for preparing me for this tragedy. He knew what was coming. He knew what was happening while I was teaching the students about His omnipresence. He was with us and with those precious people who were fighting to stay alive and with those who lost the fight.
Later that day I heard a pastor reading Isaiah 43:1-3a
“But now, this is what the LORD says– He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, and Your Savior
Take a moment today to thank God for all of those who sacrificed their lives for others and remember John 15: 13 says “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Thank God for the life He has given you and live it well, so whenever the Creator of all calls you home, He will look at you with open arms and say “Well done good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21] And always remember, “Just like air, God is there!”