It seems as if the theme of the week that keeps popping up in reading, worship songs, and just thoughts that keep popping in my head comes down to...
I believe if we are all honest and transparent, we've gone through seasons of just not feeling like God is close. As if He is just out of our grasp. Out of our reach. Maybe our prayers don't feel as if they get through the ceiling, much less to His ears. Or maybe it's been just a hard season of life. Loss of someone we hold dear either to death, broken relationships, etc... It's been unreal the amount of heartache around those we hold dear lately with marriages crumbling, health scares, financial loss, dreams that seem to be out of reach, one obstacle after another, and even death.
One thing is certain, it's been a tough season for MANY. Lots of time we really don't have a clue the depth of heartache of people we see even on a daily basis. Many are carrying burdens that we really had no clue the depth and weight---just by looking at their outward appearance.
Yet, God IS near.
He REALLY is.
Even when we are listening to our flesh or even the lies of Satan.
"He doesn't care."
"You're not worth His time."
"He only blesses others."
"You can't be forgiven THIS time."
Oh, dear ones....
Those ARE lies.
Let me repeat...
The truth is...
He's closer than we can imagine.
I'm still slowly working through Acts as part of my daily study spent directly in His word---not just the time I read devotionals, books by amazing Christian authors, inspiring Blogs.
I found some powerful verses in chapter 17 that hadn't really "popped" out to me before.
"God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being." v27-28
Though verse 28 is a popular one that I hear often, I'd not heard it combined with the previous one. Together I think they make some very powerful, beautiful words.
A necessary reminder that our hearts often need.
Seek Him. Reach out for Him. Find Him.
He is not far away.
As a matter of fact, He's so close that our every breath is through Him. He can't get much closer than that.
His word doesn't say we MIGHT find Him.
I *clasped* onto the word Breathe when we were going through Dad's illness and the months that followed. At first it came from a reminder from a sweet friend that would send me a simple text to "breathe". It carried the physical reminder and the emotional reminder of just take THIS minute and get through THIS one. It was also a physical reminder to actually breathe. During times of great tension, it's ease to lose focus and for me I do find myself holding my breathe. It was also a reminder to focus on the necessary things. The things that HAD to be done and the freedom to let the others go temporarily.
As time went on and we found ourselves in the most emotional gut-wrenching places, my prayer and my focus became I needed to feel Him so close...as close as" His breath on my neck". It became necessary in those moments that I could NOT function on my own. I couldn't think through the next minute because the current minute was THAT HARD. I needed Him more powerful than ever. It was a necessity. Through that time period and other times in life that have been difficult, He WAS that close.
I can remember even praying that He was close enough to breathe for me, because when your heart is breaking and you are experiencing emotions that your brain doesn't even know how to process, it seems physically impossible to breathe.
He showed up. Over and over.
Even through times when I didn't think I could see Him. Even through times of my life I've been angry, bitter, or wanted to throw in the towel. Even through those seasons of deep depression (especially the seasons of post partum depression). Even when it didn't feel as if I could reach to Him.
He was there. He IS there.
I loved reading these words in one of the explanations/thoughts I read on these verses.
Imagine the God of the universe wanting YOU to reach out to Him---waiting in eager anticipation. Do you knows what's really remarkable? As you begin reaching toward God, you'll find you don't need to reach at all. He is not far. There's no stretch. Our loving God is as close as your next breath---your next prayer. Jesus says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)
Doesn't that make you want to just stop what you are doing and open the door? Doesn't that make you want to stop fighting whatever your battle is and just reach out and rest in Him? Doesn't that just make you want to just stretch out your arms toward heaven and surrender?
Oh, it does me.
Just makes me want to lay it all down. Give all of it to Him. Give Him all of me.
We don't have to reach far.