In the passage where Jesus leaves the earth, he is carried up into the sky until a cloud hides him from sight.
This is the same Jesus who appeared in locked rooms to many people.
It seems a bit simple to accept that this ascension was in any way necessary, except as a means of demonstrating the obvious, that he was returning to heaven. And it is said he will be returning to earth the same way.
However, there is no logical reason for him to bodily rise, or for a cloud to hide him from sight, except to enable the simplest of observations to be recorded in scripture.
Regardless of the various manifestations and the possible reasons for them, I wish to propose a different viewpoint.
If the divine is only revealed in such physical ways, then the following could very well be just as valid (other than that there is “no” scriptural basis for it?).
Using the scriptural references that he knows the fall of every sparrow, and that all the hairs of our head are numbered, it appears to me that God could be everywhere [by his Spirit] and that rather than him being in “heaven”, that he perhaps fills every space and void at an atomic level, so that he exists in the spaces between atoms, and in fact in the spaces that exist between the atoms of every living (and non-living) thing.
So that, in that sense, it could be said that “the kingdom of God is within you”, or at least that God is within you. Possibly even we in Christ and he in us? But I do not mean to go that far.
But when it comes to the question of where is God? Or how close is he? The answer may be that he is so close that something like him returning in an instant “as the lightning flashes from East to West”? as in when he returns, it may be as simple a matter as him moving half an atom’s distance in order for him to be instantly in a position to bring judgement on all.
With prayer also, if he is in us by the displacement of some small atomic distance, then we could see how he knows all things, and also how he holds the balance of life and all things in his hands. And it may take only a “simple” shift of a faith “position” for someone exercising faith, to be “shifted” into God so that healing may occur, for example. Or for one to “be in the Spirit” to put it another way.
While I use the term “atoms”, it could be any thing or any form of similar reality that we could not possibly understand, but which nevertheless parallels our current thinking. If God is really everywhere and we consider this means he is in us and alongside us and through us; then we should never doubt the “closeness” of God again.
Only because we may often feel we have good reason [as in guilt] to wish him a long way from us do we thereby establish in our thinking a distance perspective that puts us on earth and him in “heaven”. Resolving guilt issues then may place him closer to our heart than he currently may appear to be or feel.
If the vibrancy of God is love, and that love is ever present to us, and even in us, just hidden and denied by our doubt and unbelief; what a tragedy to hide from it and not to embrace it, who is HIM.