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Far Away Came Near

The world has shrunk. When my kids went to college a few years ago, they didn’t seem very far away. Montgomery is closer to Americus than it was long ago when their dad attended Faulkner University there.

 

Oh, I know the distance is still the same, but after I left for college my parents and I didn’t talk much. There were no cell phones, and a dorm-room phone was too expensive. So, on those rare occasions when I had a few, I dropped quarters in a pay phone in the dorm lobby to call my parents. If I ever wrote a letter home, I don’t remember it (Sorry, Mom!).

 

Now? My kids are always just a few clicks away. Via Facebook or Google Photos, I see posts and photos of what’s going on in their lives. We have family groups online. We share group trip planning by way of spreadsheets in the cloud. They don’t seem so far away.

 

The spiritual world has shrunk, too. Once, even for the chosen people, barriers existed between them and God. Only the priests could enter the Holy Place of the temple and access to the Most Holy Place was limited to just the high priest, and then only once per year.

 

But Jesus changed all that. At his death, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two” (Luke 23:45).  His followers became “the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16). God is no longer “out there” somewhere, but here – living in us and among us. We have been invited to “draw near to God” (Hebrews 10:22).

 

Does God seem close? Do we feel connected to him? His promise is that “In Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near” (Ephesians 2:13). But I’m afraid sometimes he still seems distant.

 

When that happens, it’s healthy to ask. “Who moved?’

 

For all the easy access to my children, there are times when we go for long stretches without talking to each other. We get busy, distracted with hectic schedules. Or sometimes we just aren’t in the mood.

 

That’s true in our relationship with God, too. He’s always close by. We get busy or disinterested.

 

Do you want to feel close to God? Talk to him. Pick up your Bible and listen. Spend time with people in whom his Spirit lives. “Come near to God,” we are promised, “and he will come near to you” (James 4:8).

 

What was far away has been brought near. Let’s take full advantage of that.


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