There’s a very interesting story behind the family who lived in the home where the Civil War ended at Appomattox. Wilmer McLean and his family moved here in the first place to get away from the war, and there’s a reason for that.
The Battle of Bull Run began at his former home, his small plantation near Manassas Junction, Virginia. This was the first major encounter between the Union and the Confederate soldiers, and it ravaged his home and property.
In an effort to escape the war for the sake of himself and his family, McLean decided to move about 120 miles south to a “safer” place. He bought a substantial brick home near a country crossroads and began living a more peaceful existence in this small village.
However, it wasn’t long until the Civil War found him again. Ironically, the nearby fields of Appomattox played host to the last engagement between General Lee’s and General Grant’s troops on April 9, 1865. And perhaps in the most amazing turn of all, Wilmer McLean was called upon to allow the surrender to be signed in the parlor of his home. This man just could not get away.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7.
You can run, but you just can’t hide. As we visited this momentous historic place, I couldn’t help but think about this. There are just some things you can never escape. And I was reminded of someone in the Bible who realized that he truly could never get away from the Presence of God. The Psalmist, David, penned these words extolling the omnipresence of the Lord.
He is ever present in our lives, whether we welcome Him or not. He is as near as our heartbeat, so as terrible as it may be to realize, when we sin, we sin to the Almighty’s face. When we commit acts of disobedience, we commit them in view of the throne of the King of Kings.
At the same time, living in God’s Presence means He is always by our side to direct, correct, and protect. He is our constant help in time of need. He is our encourager and best friend. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And He loves us more than we could ever conceive. What a blessing it is to have a God we can never escape.