Thursday, May 8, 2008

The God Who is Near

"The Lord is near all who cry out to him, all who cry out to him sincerely."
Have you ever awoke with a burden--one of those situations that grips you so tightly that the very air is sucked from your lungs when you think of it? Or perhaps your day was going fine until a single phone call tilted your world? All of a sudden a storm flooded the contents of your life? There are times, like this morning when I am confronted with the reality of my sin nature and it shakes me to the core. It was a simple thing really--my eight year old did something I've told him a thousand times not to do--and my response proved me a fallible sinner. Within a matter of moments a calm, peaceful morning turned into the day in May when God reminded me that I still have much to learn about patience and unconditional love. And the rain poured down in my heart. How in the world can I have been a follower of Jesus for over twenty years and still struggle with these things? I'd be okay with imperfection if it only affected me, but the truth is that our sinful ways affect very deeply those we love and sometimes those we don't even know. That I'm not okay with.
Maybe the situation that grips your heart is more significant than frustration over your sin nature. Perhaps you've been hit with a disease you never expected at this age or worse yet, your child has been given a dismal diagnosis. Maybe you found out your husband has been cheating on you. Maybe your bank account is empty and you are two weeks away from payday. I know there are a million things that shake our lives.
This morning as I read, the Lord reminded me of His nearness. "The Lord is near all who cry out to him, all who cry out to him sincerely." (Psalm 145:8) God remains near. Yahweh remains present when you face Red Seas and Walls of Jericho. He has not moved. He has not changed. He has not gone deaf. He is present and wants desperately to respond to our sincere cries for help. That word sincere can be translated "in truth." And I love that. God wants us to come to him with the truth. This morning for me, it was "Lord, I'm impatient with my children sometimes. I'm sorry to come before you and say that again, but it is true. I need you to fill me with yourself so much that Your patience overflows from me. Lord, I need wisdom. Wisdom, God. Patience, God. You are Yahweh, the source of patience and wisdom. God, on my own, I'm just not enough. I'm not leaving this place of prayer and seeking until You respond, Lord. I need you."
Sincerely means genuinely cry out to God. Do I really want patience and wisdom? Am I willing to do what it takes to get to that point? Do I really want God's presence to fill me? Because He may need to move things around a bit. But if I'm sincere, then the very next verse promises "He satisfies the desire of his loyal followers; he hears their cry for help and delivers them." (Psalm 145:19) When your desires fall into line with His heart He will act. He will respond. This is our God. He's not sitting with eyes closed and ears shut. He stands as a warrior poised and ready and waiting for the battle cry. When we cry out to Him, the battle cry has gone out, and He delivers .
Thank you Lord that you are near us. Thank you that you respond to our cries and that you deliver us. Over and Over and Over. God we need you. We're crying out to you. We're storming the gates of heaven and we are anticipating your deliverance. Amen.
Listen: Cry Out to Jesus, Third Day

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