We’ve been far away. The six of us just spent five long, luxurious and wonderful days in the sunny, hot Florida Keys. A tropical getaway singing island songs and sipping boat drinks is my idea of a perfect vacay.
My husband and ten-year-old daughter scuba dived for the first time. All six of us parasailed. And we are all deliciously sun-browned and tired.
Thank you for all of your sweet and concerned emails wondering if I’m okay and encouraging me to take as much time away from the blog as I need to. I love you all and it warms my heart to feel your love.
Honestly I’ve been far away in other ways too. I’m in a season of asking God where are you?
I know that He’s here. I know that His presence and very being fills me. I know that when I draw near to Him, He comes near to me. I know. I know. I know. What I don’t feel is God’s presence. What I don’t hear is God’s voice. And that makes me sad. I ask is there a secret to drawing near that I don't yet know?
Even as I sit for hours and ponder His greatness, character and promises, His voice has remained silent for a bit. I know that sometimes in His silence He stretches us. Sometimes His silence is working to build our faith. Sometimes His silence really isn’t silence at all but a result of my faulty ears and heart. Sometimes His silence is an invitation to wait. And I know from experience waiting does not disappoint us.
And so I wait.
I am reading this book by Ed Underwood, When God Breaks Your Heart. It is a raw and real book about his terrible cancer experience. The lessons are deep and intimate. The truth speaking to me today is Psalm 34:18. “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted.
Underwood says one of the surest ways to draw near to Jesus is find someone with a broken heart and follow Him there.
“It’s one of the surest ways I know to draw near to God: Find someone with a shattered life and go to him in the name of Jesus.” (p. 76)
So I pray. God, send someone to me with a broken heart. Help me draw near to you.
On the way to the bus stop this morning, I meet Mary. Mary is looking for her granddaughter’s lap dog. The granddaughter is frantic; the dog is her baby. Mary is upset because her granddaughter is upset.
She searches for over an hour as I wait for two buses and walk three children to meet the bus. As I walk home from the bus stop, Mary abandons her car and begins searching on foot.
She stops. We talk. I pray.
She thanks me, asks me my name and tells me she appreciates my concern.
There is no drama. No tears. No little white dog appearing from Heaven. But a new friendship is formed and genuine concern rests there. My heart is full from practicing one of God’s truths in a new way. I walk home thanking God for the opportunity and asking for more.
Twenty minutes later Mary knocked my door. The dog is home.
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted … Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Psalm 34:18 & James 4:8 (NASB)