Recently, Greg went on a weeklong trip to New York to be with family. Now, I will admit, I did send some mushy gushy texts of my unwavering love for him and he did respond with some mushy gushy texts of how much I was missed and how wonderful I am. (I may or may not have added that last part) It was sweet. It was nice. And for a moment, it was a great reminder of how easily it is to take one another for granted when we are always together and when we are busy living the day-to-day routine. We can easily forget the miracles performed in our own lives because of our Great God. So maybe, just maybe, the distance did help connect our hearts yet again. But, I’m not so sure this is how I want my relationship to be with my Heavenly Father.
You see, so many times I cry out in desperation for help. I beg for understanding and relief from the pain. Sometimes, I feel so weak and vulnerable and just know that the next attack will knock me off my feet. Now, I love God. I do. And raising my hands in worship and posting biblical quotes lets Him know my unwavering love for Him too, right? I mean I tell others of His goodness and teach my children all about His mercy and grace. So why does He feel so distant sometimes?
Pursuing a desire and longing to serve God and to live for Him does not close the gap between my Father and myself. Pursuing a relationship with Him does. And way too often, I depend on Sunday morning’s message or my favorite new worship song to carry the weight of my relationship with Him. The result? Distance. Ranting and raving in pure exhaustion or crying myself to sleep in fear, proves the distance from my Father. Doubting the future and pouting about today, does not prove nearness to my Father. No matter how much I dance around in my pajamas to a new worship song or how many notes I took this past Sunday, I am distant.
Do you remember the story of the paralyzed man who was lowered right smack down into Jesus’ personal space in the bible? Do you remember the obstacles in his way? I mean, the man couldn’t even walk! He was in need of healing, a touch. The crowd was so large where Jesus was teaching that it seemed impossible to get to that healing touch. His four friends had to carry him to the roof of the house where Jesus was and make a hole in order to lower him down into Jesus’ presence. Now that is desperation. That is nearness. That is not cowering in defeat or pouting about why me. That is not dependence on a message he heard last week or a soothing song he likes to sing. That is desperation for nearness to the only one that can change his life. Are we willing to do whatever it takes for that same nearness with Jesus?
My friends, life is tough. And although cute notebooks for Sunday’s message and the love of good worship music is great, we have to stop crying out in desperation when we are distant and become desperate to do whatever it takes to draw near to Him. Reading and applying His word continuously, praying and praising His name endlessly, pursuing trust and faith in His goodness will all draw us near to our Savior. Making Him priority in all decisions, in everyday life and seeking repentance when we mess it all up are ways to feel His presence. Receiving and freely giving His grace, mercy and forgiveness will bring us closer to Him.
So how about it? Are you with me? Are you ready to stop running on empty as a believer and instead access the divine power given to us? Let us do whatever it takes to draw near to Him. Even if that includes reaching out for help, repentance, a bible study plan, or simply making the time for an intimate relationship with Him. Even though some distance between my husband and I rekindled some mushy gushy emotions, I do not want distance to be why I remember how much I love my Heavenly Father. Drawing near to Him daily will keep my love for Him strong and passionate and provide the strength needed to live life.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8
“We never grow close to God when we just live life; it takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.” ~ Francis Chan