Thursday, March 6, 2014

I’m Right Here – Lenten Journey Day 2





The LORD is near to all who call on him…” Psalm 145:18

Don’t tell my niece and nephew, but they were not very good at hide-n-seek when they were small children.  I would hide my eyes and count, and then turn around to find some mysterious lump on the bed underneath the blankets or a closet door that suddenly had a case of the giggles.

I would search around them, intentionally avoiding their hiding place.  After some time, I would playfully act devastated by my failure to find them, and audibly cry out over my defeat.  What happened next was always beautifully predictable and usually my favorite part… 

They would slide from below the blankets, or another not-so-hiding spot, and approach me.  Of course, I would pretend to not see them and continue my search; walking past, sometimes stepping over, as if they were invisible. 

“Where are you?” I would call out…

After tugging and tapping me for so long they would finally respond,

“Tee-tee, I’m right here!”

I would embrace them with happiness as if those five minutes of searching were a lifetime.
They would hug me back. Relieved.....happy to be seen by me once more. 

Fun memories. 

But as we go through dark or difficult times in our lives I think it can easily feel like a game of hide-n-seek with God.

Have you ever had those times?

When you’re stumbling around life, with one arm stretched out into the darkness….
Searching for something to cling to…
Searching for something to tell you you’re safe…
Only to grasp emptiness.
You reach out.
You don’t feel Him near.
You pray for answers.
His voice seems silent
Those moments don’t feel as fun, do they?

They can be downright scary as we cry out…
“God, where are you?”

But here is the beautiful part.

His answer to us, is the same simple response I heard during those games…..
“I’m right here!”

God’s word promises us, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18.

You know what that means for us?
That no matter how deep or dark the pit, He is right there with you.  And His presence comes with a promise.

He is near....to bring you through the darkness....to mend your brokenness....to heal.....to restore.

And, HE WILL just that.

That is great news that we often forget.  In exhaustion, we reach out and search…
Everywhere….Work….
Everyone…..Relationships
Everything….Busyness or addictions….
All those things only bring emptiness.

All the answers we need can only be found in the One who is right in front of us.
His name is Immanuel, and His name literally means “God with us”.
He is not trying to hide from you.  So maybe it’s time for you to stop searching and embrace Him. 
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…” James 4:8

Additional Scriptures: Proverbs 15:29, Psalm 73:23, Lamentations 3:57,
Let us pray: Father God, first and foremost I want to ask for Your forgiveness.  For too long I have tried to do things my own way and rejected Your nearness.  Thank You that you have never left me or forsaken me.  It is through Your grace that I even have the privilege to have You in my corner and I am filled with overwhelming gratitude.  You are right here with me as I humble myself to You.  There are areas of my life that are bringing uncertainty and anxiety.  In this moment of surrender, I cast all my cares, all my worries, and all my own agendas on You, for I know that You care for me.  Anything that has created a barrier between You and I, must go; anything that is keeping me from knowing You more deeply, seeing You more nearly, and hearing You more clearly.  I commit to drawing nearer to you by spending time in Your word, communing with You in prayer, and being an instrument of Your love to others.  I ask for your strength and your wisdom as I draw nearer to the One who has drawn near to me.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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