God did this so that they would seek him
and perhaps reach out for him and find him,
though he is not far from any one of us.
‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
[Acts 17: 27–28a]
The opening words in this verse, taken out of context, could seem to imply that all that is happening is God’s doing; it is not. The passage recounts the story of Paul talking to the people of Athens about their statues to various gods, and telling the good news of Jesus. Paul explains how God created everything and that Jesus came to give us new life, making us children of God. It is to this that Paul is referring when he says that ‘God did this’.
It can be difficult at times, especially if you live alone, or have now been with the people you love in one space for many weeks, to remember all that God has done for us: we tend to focus on what is happening right now. But Paul encourages us to reach out and seek God – to use some of our time to develop our relationship with God.
For those struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues at this time, or for anyone struggling with fear and doubt, this may seem extremely difficult – but Paul reminds us that God is never far from us, even if he seems miles away. He is here, with us, for in him we live and move and have our being.
God in whom we live and move
Draw near to us now:
In our fear and distress
Bring us comfort and love;
In our sickness and doubt
Bring us healing and peace.
God in whom we have our being
Help us to find ourselves in the chaos,
To hold on to who we are,
To hold on to who you are,
And to hold on to who we are in you.