“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you …” James 4:8a (NASB)
My son woke up and called my name from his hospital bed.
After spending a few days stuck in his bed with an arm that hurt when he moved his body, my son was a little whiny — and frankly, so was I.
My young son had broken his arm pretty badly. He’d decided to pretend he was Spiderman and attempted to leap from a stool to a monkey bar above his head. Needless to say, he missed.
After three days of us both being stuck in the hospital, he was perpetually not happy and working my nerves.
He wanted ice cream.
He felt too hot.
He felt too cold.
Then he wanted to go home. I totally understood that. Because I wanted to leave too.
But as my son jolted awake that early morning, he called to me because of a bad dream. He wanted me right next to him so he could relax, have peace and fall back asleep. Of course my heart melted, despite my exhaustion and frustration.
He didn’t want anything else than for me to be close.
There was only one problem. Those hospital beds aren’t made for two people, especially when one is a full-grown adult. In order to do what he wanted and what I had no problem doing, he had to move over.
In other words, he had to make room for me.
I, like my son, often find myself in life situations that feel like a bad dream. I might be uncomfortable … stuck … in emotional or physical pain. Sometimes I find myself stressed out, overwhelmed, without peace, lonely, worried or unhappy.
Do I believe this? “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18, NASB). Absolutely.
Do I believe “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, NASB)? Sure I do.
But I have to admit many times I settle for the ache in my heart or the anxiety in my head. I don’t immediately reach out for the Presence available to me.
I love that as soon as my son woke up, he asked for me to come close.
I love even more that he was willing to make room for me to do so.
As soon as my son moved over, I got in. He looked up at me and smiled, full from the joy that safety and security brings, and then just a few minutes later, he fell into a sweet and peaceful sleep.
While we can desire more of God’s presence, knowing He desires the same, we have to make room for Him.
Just like we read in today’s key verse, James 4:8a: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
I’ve learned how important it is to “make room” for God in my life by creating space in my day to talk to Him and read His Word. I make room for more of God’s presence when I honor Him in my actions and attitudes and “move over” by submitting my will to His. I create more space for God when I choose to accept the love He offers above my feelings of inadequacy that seek to crowd that love out.
And I do this because I know that God’s presence is always available to me. And to you.
Not only that, but the Psalmist says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy …” (Psalm 16:11b, NASB).
When we are in His presence, we can experience joy that safety and security in Him brings. His presence helps us experience His peace, regardless of circumstances surrounding our lives. God’s presence can bring us to a place of calm, comfort, confidence and rest.
We just have to make room, diligently seeking Him and trusting in His love.
And knowing that His presence makes a difference.
Dear God, I desire more of You. Please help me make room for You in my life. Help me know that when I call, You will answer. Convict me when I need to make more time for You and be more obedient to You. Help me graciously receive Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 16:11 ”You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (ESV)
Ever struggled to focus on God and His Word in the midst of your shifting seasons? Check out the Proverbs 31 First 5 App as a way to jumpstart every day in His Word.
Could you use a reminder to make room for God’s presence in your life? Click here to download a free printable Chrystal Evans Hurst has made available just for you.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
In what practical ways do you make room for God’s presence in your life?
Have you called to Him and known His presence to make a difference in your life? Share your experience in the comments so your words might be an encouragement for someone today.
© 2016 by Chrystal Evans Hurst. All rights reserved.