On the Pennsylvania turn pike, there is an area called “Town Hill.” The turnpike is on a mountain side, with a huge valley sever hundred feet below. It is beautiful. The valley is dotted with a small town, little white church and all. It looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. From the altitudes of the road and at 70 miles per hour, one can see the town, freshly harvested fields and it is majestic. What you can’t see is the everyday life of the people who live there. It is easy to image happy children going off to school, families having dinner with a sense of peace and contentment, friends sharing a cup of coffee. But the truth is, they are probably just like us; dealing with job issues, broken relationships, illness and grief. Sure, all of that is interrupted by moments of joy, or is it the other way around.
That, in part, is what the scripture is about. People drift into the everydayness of life, thinking that God is far away, only seeing the landscape and not the truth of life. The opposite is actually the case. God is not far away looking down saying, “have a nice day children,” but actually with us. God wants us to live in joy and peace that sustains us when life is interrupted by pain. God stands with us in those times, not up there somewhere, but right here beside us, sharing our everyday life. We may be going 70 mph, but God is still with us.