With the historic total solar eclipse upon us, we’ve certainly been hearing plenty about the sun lately. With that in mind, I’d like to share a prayer recorded in the book of Psalms. “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us” (Psalm 67:1, NKJV).
I think it’s interesting that the psalmist calls for God’s face to “shine” on us. In a way, God’s presence is like the shining sun. We know that the sun is shining all the time; it doesn’t turn on and off. But we’re more aware of the sun at some times than at others.
When the weather is nice and skies are clear, we certainly see and feel the sun shining on us. But when clouds and storms come, they hide our view of the sun. Or in a case like this week’s eclipse, even the moon sometimes obstructs our ability to see the sun. However, in reality the sun is shining just the same; the obstacles between us and the sun just make things appear different.
It’s the same way at nighttime. Even though we talk about the sun “setting,” we know that it really doesn’t go down for the night; it continues to shine in the center of the universe. It’s just that our position changes at night so that we don’t see or feel the sun.
In a similar way, we must understand that God is always with us. “For the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). However, we know there are times that we are more aware of His presence than others.
Sometimes, we let circumstances or trials “cloud” our vision of Him, and we may forget that He’s there. Sometimes, we change our position or even turn our backs to Him, and we may forget that He’s there. But regardless of how we feel or what we see, He’s still with us. Jesus promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
The psalmist David expounded on this truth in Psalm 139. He declared to God, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you” (Psalm 139:7-12, NLT).
Don’t ever be fooled into thinking the light of God’s presence has gone away; He is with us always. We can’t escape His presence, and that’s a good thing! And not only is He with us, but He wants to help us, guide us, and strengthen us!
So, let God do that for you today. Indeed, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1, NIV).