By Christine Hung
One early morning during my quiet time with the Lord, my son, who was about 3 or 4 at the time, crawled quietly into my lap. Attired in a fuzzy one piece pajama, two fingers in his mouth, and his hair sticking straight up, he looked at me and asked, “God is everywhere, right?” Even at that age, Eli was a deep thinker.
“Yes Eli, God is everywhere,” I replied absentmindedly.
“Then God is in my bellybutton!” His response was serious and resolute, as if he was finally able to put a matter to rest. As if he had been contemplating the complexities of the question all night. I laughed out loud and kissed him on his head.
As children, it is so easy to believe that God is big enough to be everywhere and yet small enough to be in our belly buttons, so to speak. He is great and astounding enough for his hands to span the universe and to fling stars into space; but small enough to take notice of my every concern, my every fear, and my every thought. But as we get older, sometimes we find ourselves forgetting how involved the Lord wants to be in our lives. Perhaps we invite His Presence during our times of worship on Sundays, or for that brief moment of prayer before each meal, but then we give Him leave to deal with the bigger, universal problems of the world.
I have posted around my home signs that say “Practice the Presence of the Lord” to remind me and the kids to remember that He is always with us, and to live each moment in honor to Him and dependence on Him. It worked for a while. But now they go virtually unnoticed, like the dust bunnies collecting under the furniture.
I have come to realize that practicing the presence of the Lord has to be part of my morning ritual. I need to actively participate in my relationship with Jesus by living out each moment, resolving each problem, sating each hunger, and walking each step, hand in hand with Him.
In Psalm 139, David writes:
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
King David was described as being a man after God’s own heart. This was not because he was a sinless man – his moral failures are well documented in the Bible. I believe he is remembered this way because he shared everything with the Lord. He didn’t keep anything from him, and seemed to be in constant dialogue with God about every facet of his life. Even at his darkest moments of evil and self-ruin, he humbled himself before the Lord, allowing God to pick over every thought and feeling. He bared his soul to God – in times of joy, suffering, in times of need, and in times of plenty.
I know it can be difficult to bare our souls and stand naked before the Lord. During our family devotions yesterday, my kids even admitted they felt uncomfortable and even scared that God knows our every thought. I spent time explaining to them the beauty of it all. God, who knows us best, loves us most. When God searches our hearts and sees the ugliness in its depths, there is no condemnation when we are standing in the mercy and grace of Christ. He overwhelms us with His love and His heart’s desire is to free us from ourselves.
I find that I’m a much better person when I’m aware of His presence with me. I’m more patient with the kids. I’m sweeter to my husband. I’m more loving to the people around me. I take joy in the simplest of things, and hard circumstances suddenly feel easy.
Today I choose to walk with Him hand in hand. Because if He is for me, who or what could be against me? I choose to believe that there is no fear in His perfect love and that He is small enough to care for the little details of my life. I choose to believe there is nothing I can’t share with my loving Heavenly Father in prayer. I choose to believe that He wants me to trust in Him through thick and thin.
I choose to believe that God is in my belly button.