He Is Near

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)

Aung San Suu Kyi and Michael Aris

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.

Respond: 

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.

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31 thoughts on “He Is Near

  1. Free will leads us to believe that He made hearth and walked away, but it fails to allow for grace…a way for us to invite Him back into our world for divine fellowship.

  2. Beautiful. What came to mind when I read was a book by Thomas Keating, “Open Mind Open Heart.” This book explores contemplative prayer, and offers an avenue to connect with God in a very personal way. For all those “some people’ and all those “some times for people,” opening the heart to God can be the first step in understanding Him in a very personal way.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement. It’s been a rough few days as we try to start a new ministry and trust completely in God. Sometimes I feel like shouting “God, where are you?” as well. But I know He is with us.

  4. Yes. Sometimes we think God hasn’t answered because He hasn’t answered the way we Expected Him to answer. In retrospect, we see He has answered us a way we didn’t anticipate. On my site is a contact (bottom of the page) called Heather’s Testimony – it needs updating because I’ve healed more. The gist is I spent forty years seeing God as the great abandoner, who didn’t intervene in my incest and abuse. As I healed and was able to receive God as a loving father, when I was ready, He pointed out He was my imaginary mother and father, giving me comfort in the abuse. And that He was there in the “nots” – what did NOT happen during my abuse – I didn’t get pregnant, didn’t go insane, etc. God was even there in my rebellious phase. He kept pursuing me when I tried so hard to push Him away.

    Thanks for a great post.

  5. God is always there to help his people. He leaves nobody alone. Things may not go as we want all the time but God give us what He considers best for us. So, we should never be hopeless towards HIM.
    Nice and inspiring article, no doubt.

  6. Awesome! Thank You for following God’s voice…..You have & will continue to Bless millions because of Your Obedience to Our Heavenly Father, JESUS. I will pray for the church & wisdom for your future adventurers as The Lord leads. christy

  7. Pingback: Aung San Suu Kyi. The Reith Lectures. (via magsmuse) | Pilant's Business Ethics

  8. God is near when we call on him (when we are in trouble). He is our very present help in time of need. He inhabits our praises. He is close to the broken hearted (Psalm 34). When we draw near to him, he draws near to us (James 4).

  9. Pingback: The Way We Were | let's gather at the table

  10. I remember in high school having Christian bands come to play on campus. They were often better than bands on the Top 40 and people thought I was crazy walking to school and picking up every piece of garbage. That’s what the girls told me on the 20th reunion. I didn’t date much then. I don’t date much now. I am crazy because I care. I am not one of those tea partiers, who hates “illegal” immigrants because I know how much they have given. I don’t dislike minorities, because Blacks, for example are so much more evolved when it comes to feeling banished for something they can’t control, which is their skin. There is a section in Black Boy, an autobiography by Richard Wright, that talks about his being asked to tie the apron strings of a white waitress while she leans against him.

    I am not the Christian who abhors the poor and thinks they are to blame. I don’t hate the homosexual either. I try to love every person just as Jesus must have done, but none of this is popular.

    So, I love this music for it reminds me of that innocence.

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