Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The nearness of God

**First I want to say that I appreciate the comments from yesterday's post! I needed to be reminded that often God uses wilderness experiences to prepare us for His purposes. While these times feel very dry and even frustrating, God is faithful to allow us to be thirsty and then He fills us with Himself to quench the thirst. Thanks for the reminders!

--One of the seminars at the homeschool conference was called "The Nearness of God is My Good" by Marcia Somerville. Much of this post was inspired by her encouragement.

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all thy works.
--Psalm 73:28

If the nearness of God is my good, then why do I so easily substitute other things and people in God's place, things like husband, kids, hobbies, learning or friends. All of these are blessings but none of them are meant to provide the fulfilling, life-sustaining intimacy I can have with God.

Part of my problem is that I forget that God's nearness does not necessarily mean that I am intimate with Him. It is true that He is with me at all times, He knows and He loves me, but there is action on my part that leads to the intimacy that I desire. This is comparable to being near my husband day in and day out, but never talking or sharing my life with him. Simply put, intimacy would be lacking.

Rather than making the effort to spend time with God, I throw out a few requests, read a few verses and I call it good, never expecting or even wanting anything from Him until times get hard. Then I turn away because God has become so small in my life that I don't trust Him and I even blame Him for my circumstances--completely forgetting that the nearness of God is my good.

If I am not availing myself to my God on a daily basis, seeking His filling, His peace, His leading, what do I, as a wife and mother, have to impart to those around me? If I myself am starving and without food, I can not give nourishment to the people who depend on me. Basically I become ineffective in the act that I most want to accomplish in my life!

I wish I could say that there is an easy 10-step plan to achieve intimacy with God, but there is not. I believe that the solution is not so much an action, but rather a response of my heart, a turning and yielding to God on a daily basis--waiting on Him, learning from Him and resting in him. This will lead to the peace and trust that I long for. Because my image of God will become bigger, I could rest in the fact that He is in charge of my life. I will able to say with conviction that "The nearness of God is my good!"