When is God close?

When I am broken-hearted. “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Whenever I am afraid and overwhelmed. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God…” (Isaiah 41:10).

When I am truthful in my prayers. “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

When I am sad over what I have done. God says, “…I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit” (Isaiah 57:15).

When someone accuses me. “He who vindicates me is near. Who then can bring a charge against me?…” (Isaiah 50:8).

Because HE is GOD.

Photo by Мария Волк on Unsplash

Can a vaccine save us?

It seems like our lives are being other-directed. We are told how to live it and what to pursue. And those others also come across as unfathomably wise, assuring us that they can sort all our problems. But what about God?

If we stopped to think about it, if God made our ears, that means he can hear us. If he made our eyes, he sees us. He knows what is happening in our world – Covid 19 – and he isn’t standing by idle. He keeps trying to get our attention, saying, “Nothing happens by mistake. Someone’s greed precipitated this pandemic, someone’s disregard for creation and humanity.”

But the experts tell us, “WE’VE got this under control. Just be patient. That vaccine is coming. WE will save the world.”

God responds: “That plan is laughable. Greed will cause yet another tragedy. Greed will keep causing harm. Your human hearts are bent that way. Sure, take the vaccine, but remember that it can’t save your heart from greed – only I can… Please, come close and listen. Grasp my Son’s hand. Then you too can own your choice to treat creation and humanity with respect.”

From Psalm 94:8-11. (Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash)

You will not go down.

This spring I witnessed a river in flood. The ground shook. The noise of crashing water filled the air. Yet one HUGE boulder stood up above the flood. Sure, it had been worn smooth with centuries of troubles, but it stood its ground. It refused to budge.

I gazed at this rock and thought, “This is life. We get battered and overwhelmed, but we can still stand strong.” For, “When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down… Because I am God, your personal God… your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:2-3) God holds us tight.

He won’t let us get swept away. He won’t let any of those troubles intimidate us. In him we can stand. In him we are safe, no matter the size of flood.