“The Israelites complained and put the Lord to the test when they asked, ‘Is the Lord with us or not?”.

Ex 17:7 GNB

There used to be a short poem which went, “The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth; One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth”. Beautiful as that may sound, the real question is, “Is it true?” In one sense God is present everywhere – not only in a garden. Would you say that one is near to God in a garden full of weeds, broken down trees, and overgrown grass?

Whilst Moses had no doubt assured the Israelites that God would be with them as they crossed the Red Sea and right through their journey into Canaan, he was conspicuous by his absence when they battled heat, thirst, hunger and weariness. And no doubt there was conflict within the ranks as well. How could they ever tell whether God was really with them or not.? Many people do sense God’s presence in a (beautiful) garden. But some feel that sense of God in the mountains, by the sea, by a river, or in a quiet chapel in a church. One has to feel for the Israelites with feelings that were not very pleasant or beautiful – and staring death in the face almost every day.

In our rushed lives of today we don’t get much chance to feel the presence of God. We may often wonder whether he is here or not. It is good for Christian disciples to stop and take note of the fact that God is here whether it is obvious or not. For he does not confine himself to the beautiful and peaceful places.


Lord, let me sense you here whatever my environment.