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

Human vs God?

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 those others contradict him, telling us, “WE’RE in control. Just be patient. With that vaccine WE will save the world.”

God responds: “That plan is human. Greed will cause yet another tragedy. Greed will keep causing harm.” Our human hearts are bent that way, and no vaccine can ever save our hearts from greed. Only God can.

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.