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Posts Tagged ‘draw near to God’

“Let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me… ” Isaiah 27:5

Training pets takes patience, time, and tenacity. I’ve had my little guinea pig for about five months now. At first, he was so afraid of this giant outside of his cage but slowly he has come to trust me as the person who opens his bag of food to scoop some into his bowl or reaches in the refrigerator to bring him veggies. But, I am also the one who disturbs him when I have to clean out his cage. Sometimes I turn on this loud box with flashing pictures and weird sounds in the evening. And I use this noisy machine with a light in front of it and run it back and forth across the carpet.

Several times a week I lay an old beach towel down on the sofa and let him wander around on it as I sit at one end. Usually, I lay down a snack for him as well. He has slowly started to come to me on his own, cuddling next to my hip and giving off soft guinea pig chortles. But only for a few seconds, then he’d skitter away. After a few minutes, he’d return, but the cautious pattern continued.

Last night an amazing thing happened. He stopped, crawled into my lap, up my torso, and licked my face. That is guinea pig for “I love you and want to be near you.” Then he nestled in my neck.

My heart melted.

I thought how similar our sweet Lord must feel when we finally come to Him on our own accord. How many of us cower, afraid to near His throne, even though through Christ we can have that privilege. He seems so big, so mighty, and His ways are not ours. He does things we do not understand. But slowly, as we realize He provides out of love and cares for us, we begin to trust Him more and more. We learn to draw near and rest in His presence for comfort and safety.

Unlike my domesticated guinea pig, we humans can forge out a living on our own. We can get our own food, build our own houses, choose our environment. We don’t need God…or so we think. What a day of rejoicing in Heaven it must be when one of us finally decides to trust our Master enough to crawl up from our situation and reach out to Him then whisper, “I love you and want to be near you.” Let us not then skitter away.

 

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I read this in a blog I follow by Lori Benka –

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 says:

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

ID-100169178Let me give you a little background about Paul leading up to this verse. Scripture tells us that Paul was a great man of God. His ministry was growing and he performed many miracles through the power of Christ. But we see that Paul had something that was bothering him.  It bothered Paul so much that he prayed three times for it to be removed. We are told about this “thorn in the flesh” that was very grievous to Paul.  It is uncertain what the “thorn in the flesh” was, but many scholars believe it could have been acute bodily pain or sickness.  Some even believe it could have been spiritual in nature – such as a temptation or persecution from an individual that constantly harassed Paul.  In any case, He was growing very distressed.

After Paul prayed three times for this thorn to be removed, we see that God didn’t remove it.  It is at this point that I ask myself why didn’t God answer Paul’s prayer? He was a faithful servant full of faith and yet, God didn’t remove the very thing that was distressing him the most.  God’s answer to Paul is that His grace and strength would be sufficient for him to bear through the pain. Paul was drawing closer to God with his “thorn in the flesh.” Could it be that sometimes our prayers are not answered quickly because God is wanting to use our circumstance to draw us closer to Himself?  

I think about a medical diagnosis that I have been praying about for thirteen years to be taken away. I don’t like the pain and uncertainty that comes along with the disease. But as I look back, I realized that every time I would have a flare up, I would begin to press into God more by praying and reading the Bible. The “thorn” was actually bringing me closer to God.  I realized when I was weak and feeling like I couldn’t go on anymore, was when God would demonstrate His power to me the most. God’s grace flooded over me to allow me to push through my circumstances.  Although unpleasant, I begin to see that my “thorns” act as an aid rather than a handicap….

What amazing insight! Please read the rest of her blog at http://lorilbenka.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/why-wont-you-remove-this-thorn-lord/#like-320. It will bless you! And if you know someone in pain right now, share this with them. It just may be the comforting thing they need to hear.

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