God is Close
“How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” - David
Have you ever spoken words like this? Maybe in the quietness of your spirit you cried out, “God, why are you hiding?” Or maybe during a gut-wrenching moment in your life, you wondered where God was and you shouted, “Why have you forgotten me?” I wonder, have you ever cried out to God like this? I have…more than once…and recently.
I think many people feel a perceived absence of God when their prayers aren’t being answered or there is a battle with some kind of health issue. I can certainly relate to both of these. I have prayers that haven’t been answered and after four years, I’m still battling a stomach issue that I haven’t been healed from. You see, unanswered prayers, health issues, not getting the desires of our heart, loss of a spouse, loss of a child, loss of a job, loss of any kind can make us think that God has abandoned us and He doesn’t care. In those moments we cry out, “Why LORD do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1)
Well, the truth is that God isn’t far off and He isn’t hiding from you. He is closer than you think. He hears our prayers and He hears our cries. In our darkest times, He is there. In the ordinariness of life, He is there. The story of the Bible isn’t primarily about the desire of people to be with God; it’s the desire of God to be with people. In fact, the greatest promise of the Bible isn't “I will forgive you.” The greatest promise of the Bible is “I will be with you.” It is the reason for our courage, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). When Jesus was born, his name was Immanuel, which means God with us. God is closer than we think. When Jesus left this earth, he said “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
“God is determined that you should be in every respect his friend, his companion, his dwelling place” writes John Ortberg. In others words God is not hiding from you, He has not forgotten you, and He is not far way. God is close and his desire is to be with you. So, “The LORD be with you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-27)
“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.” Dr. Seuss