An illustration of this scripture would be when two friends part, one might say, 'I will be with you through all your journey.' How? Certainly not in person for they physically separate. The idea is that in love, and thought, and care one for another, they would not be separated. In a similar yet fuller sense, the Lord has always been with his Church, his divine power overseeing, directing and assisting them for the last 2,000 years.
But additionally, Christ promised a personal return to his Church:
Paul refers to Christ's second personal presence, "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." II Thess. 1:10
Jesus illustrated his second personal presence with the parable of a "certain nobleman" in Luke 19:12-27. The nobleman [picturing Jesus] went to a far country [heaven] to receive a kingdom and to return [at his second personal coming]. While he was gone, the citizens of his country rebelled against him. Upon his return, his first action was to deal with his servants and reward them for their faithfulness. This illustrates how Jesus' first work at his return will be to judge his church. "Judgment must begin at the house of God." I Pet. 4:17