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Draw Near

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." James 4:8

God is not far off or distant.

God's word says that "God is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18). This leads me to believe that our brokenhearted conditions don't always mean that we are somehow far from God.

I learned this through my own season of heartbreak and grief. I had started to believe the lie that my lack of capacity for my pain somehow was cause for God being silent with me. I convinced myself that if I couldn't perform for Him through enthusiastic prayer times and simply bounce back from my hurt, that I was failing. I was wrong.

Really, in my constant agony and reaching for His presence to comfort me, I was getting closer than ever, because He was drawing nearer than ever. The issue remained in my perspective of how He chose to reveal proximity. As if positive outcomes meant He was closer and I was doing well, and negative ones meant that I had failed and He wasn't as near. This couldn't be further from the truth. Spiritually I knew this, but my mind was lying to me. God was showing me that I didn't need a miraculous event for me to encounter Him as I had originally chosen to believe. I had to learn how to go back to meeting Him in the subtle, somewhat quiet ways that I once did, before the massive hits of life, before the tremendous pain, and before everything seemed difficult.

In all honesty, deeply rooted within me was this desire in me to see God perform extreme works of power and assert His presence through these jaw-dropping visual displays of His redemption in my life as a way to undo all the significant losses I had experienced. However, His desire was and always had been that I would get close enough to hear His heartbeat.

Dennis R. Bratcher makes a beautiful statement about how God chooses to draw us into a position of response. He states, "God is not the kind of God who beats us into submission. He does not coerce our response to him or force our loyalty. That is our decision. But he will work to bring us to a position where we can respond to him. Sometimes He may work in unusual or unexpected ways. Sometimes He may work through very ordinary people in everyday circumstances. But He will work, calling us to response."

If you are wrestling with pain or heartache, if you are feeling angry or disconnected with/from God, or you are dealing with overwhelming thoughts and feelings, I want to encourage you to draw near to Him and not run away because of the pain. He will draw near to you. Even if your circumstances don't change overnight, your questions do not get immediately answered, or your healing takes a little time, we can trust that God will draw near to you when you draw near to Him. The result is often healing, peace, understanding, grace, and renewal.

Choose to press in. Choose to repent and seek His face. He responds, dear friend. We don't always need miraculous signs and wonders, but we always need His nearness, nearness that often comes in the form of a whispered invitation to meet with Him and allow Him to minister to our hearts.

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