Our God is not a distant God, but one who cares and loves us
A lot of people know what we call the Lord’s Prayer (it’s really just a model for prayer). It’s in Matthew 6:9 and it starts out with, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name.” The idea that God is in Heaven is not about distance; in other words, God is not far away - the idea is that He is above all and that He is spiritual.
I’m afraid for many that God is a distant God, which is not true. Most of us that grew up in the church grew up memorizing Scripture, and the first passage I remember memorizing is John 3:16, “God so loved the world. That He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” That’s about you. There are about 7.9 billion people in the world, and you are one of them, so God loves you. Not only does He love you, but through the sending of His Son and the work of Christ on the cross and the empty grave, God has provided you with a path to Himself. Someone shout, “Hallelujah!”
Here’s my point. God likes you, and you can’t do anything about it. Not only that, but He’s here for you. Isaiah 40:29 - 31 (one of the Blonde’s favorites) says, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
I don’t know about you, but I feel faint. I’m weary and I’m exhausted. Maybe it’s because I’m old, tired and often too cynical. Maybe it’s the Christmas Holiday hangover (I’m not a fan of Christmas but I am repenting), but I think it’s that I know too many people with cancer, I go to way too many funerals, and I think it’s that sometimes my kids are in a tough spot and I can’t rescue them like I could when they were little. I think it’s COVID. I think it’s not shaking hands and hugging (and I don’t like to hug anyone but Jennifer, the 23-year-old grad student, my favorite barista and my favorite Presbyterian pastor). I think it’s not going to get coffee and hanging out while I watch people do what they do. I think it’s not hanging out with people I like, and right now I’m ready to hang out with people I don’t like - anyone else?
Here’s the deal. I can’t quit. I mean if I did what would I do? Go sit on the curb and feel sorry for myself? I was blessed to grow up in the church. I’m not always her biggest fan, but like my celebrity pastor friend (if I told you his name you would know him, he’s on TV and the radio everyday) says, “She’s my mother.” As a kid, we sang, "Standing on the Promises" - part of this hymn includes, “I’m standing on the promises of God, promises that cannot fail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises I cannot fall.” When we are beat up and bummed out, this is what we do. God promises in Isaiah to help tired people be strong. He empowers people that have no power. He promises to give rest to the tired. People that stumble and fall are able to get back up and be strong again, they are able to run and not be weak, to walk and not get tired.
Can I encourage you today? Keep going - don’t stop. God will do His part if you will do your part. He told me to tell you that.