Read: 2 Kings 10:32-12:21, Acts 18:1-22, Psalm 145:1-21, Proverbs 18:1
The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)
Relate: In 1971 the greatest mind on Tibetan and Himalayan culture, Dr Michael Aris married Aung San Suu Kyi who was at that time working at the United Nations. For years they lived the life of international jet setters. Between his academic work and her political work and pursuing further education they did not see each other as often as desired. Then the unthinkable happened. Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma to take care of her ailing mother but ended up staying as her nation was being swept up in political revolution. She was part of the 8888 uprising and when, shortly afterward a military junta seized power and on July 20, 1989 Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest. Michael Aris was able to see his wife only five times in the next decade. The last time was for Christmas in 1995. Shortly afterward he was diagnosed with cancer and it claimed his life in March 1999. Despite appeals from practically every political leader in the free world, the despots ruling Burma refused to allow the two to be reunited.
I’ve done long distance relationships but I haven’t done them well. I can remember staying up crazy hours to skype or talk on the phone. I can’t imagine living in a time where technology just didn’t make that possible. I can’t imagine living under a system that is using forced separation as a political tool. I can’t imagine being apart for so long from someone I love so deeply.
React: Some people view their relationship with God in that way. Sometimes I am “some people”. The very concept of Deism was born from well meaning people who claimed God set the earth in motion and then just left us on our own. They couldn’t picture a God who is near. I can understand the impetus towards thinking that way. I can remember being on a long drive and pulling over on the side of the road. I stepped out of my car and started screaming at the mountains, “God, where are You!?!”
What I cannot imagine is not getting an answer. He hasn’t always answered in the way I would expect. He hasn’t always answered in the way I might hope. But He has always answered in the way I needed. In my times of deepest sorrow, when I couldn’t even lift my head, I’ve literally felt Him holding me. Though I haven’t always been aware, He has always been as close as my next heartbeat and as real as my next breath.
I am so grateful, God, that You don’t do long distance relationships. I am thankful that You are here. I am thankful that You are always near. In those times that I don’t see it, open my eyes. In those times when I feel so alone, hold me close. You are all I need.