For all our current connectedness through social media, surveys reveal that there are more lonely people now than ever. “Loneliness epidemic” was coined to describe this new phenomenon.
What is the cause? Most likely the loneliness results from our substituting digital relationships for real ones. Have you ever observed a table at the restaurant where all the diners are looking at their phones instead of each other? Even when we are near to each other, we are far away. And then we wonder why we are lonely?
But there is One who is ALWAYS near, even when I am distracted looking at Instagram. He is close though my children are growing up and moving away. He is beside me always. He is NEAR.
Think about kings and rulers. They always stay separated, elevated. You go to them, they don’t condescend to come to you. For us, it would be difficult enough to get an appointment with a Congressman, so could you imagine booking time with the President?
But the Holy Lord of the universe does not stand aloof. Just the opposite- whenever we call, He is NEAR.
- For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? (Deuteronomy 4:7 ESV)
Because of His love, the Lord stays close to His children. How thankful I am for His promise that when I cry out to Him, He responds because He is right there, close, present, and available.
- The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18 ESV)
When I am at my worst, I experience loneliness to the deepest degree. Maybe that is because when my heart breaks, I prefer to hide my pain over sharing with others. Or when circumstances crush my spirit, and someone asks, “How are you?” I would rather respond, “Fine,” than avoid the exposure of vulnerability. However, the Lord COMES NEAR at those times. He doesn’t avoid me or wait for me to get my act together. Nor does He wait until I FEEL like opening up. Instead, He walks in and saves me.
- The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18 ESV)
The Lord seeks out relationship. The Near God comes knocking, calling my name. How amazing- He doesn’t just allow me to get close, He pursues me!
- Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 ESV)
- But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 ESV)
What a privilege to walk straight up to the Throne from which my God reigns. My confidence rests on Jesus, not myself. And the nearness of my Lord grants mercy and grace as I need it the most.
- Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)
We were made to seek God. So even if it FEELS like we have to search and feel our ways toward Him, ACTUALLY He is not far off! He never has been. He is at the door knocking, desiring relationship. As I walk with my Near God, I truly live as His Spirit brings life to my heart.
- And he made from one man every nation of mankind … that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for "'In him we live and move and have our being' (Acts 17:26a-28a ESV)
I praise the God who is always near, in fact, as close as possible. He abides IN me through His Spirit.
- Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV)
I experience the closeness of the Lord every day in His true Word, which directs my life.
- But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deuteronomy 30:14 ESV)
- But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true. (Psalm 119:151 ESV)
Oh the joy of being near to my Lord! How grateful I am that He is not cloistered away inside cathedrals. Instead, He abides within me and closely beside me. He offers Himself as a VERY PRESENT refuge to which I can run.
- But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. (Psalm 73:28 ESV)
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)
Thank You Lord, for the privilege of Your nearness. It exemplifies You love and compassion for Your people. You didn’t leave us alone or expect us to remain safe without You. You don’t require us to earn closeness or deserve relationship. Instead You initiate.
Thank You Jesus, for demonstrating Your nearness by coming to save us. You placed Yourself among us in the flesh, and You come to us and knock on the door. You seek us out. When we seek You, You allow Yourself to be found. And through Your blood gave us unrestricted access to the Father. Your relationship-seeking love overwhelms me.
I am so grateful You are a God who comes nearest when I am the most needy. When my heart breaks You hold me. As my spirit deflates within me, You carry me. Thank You for Your reliable and consistent care.
Thank You for responding when I call. Your nearness means You always hear my cries and my prayers. I confidently pray to You because I KNOW You hear. It is a privilege to draw near to Your throne, and because of the blood of Jesus I can do so with confidence and joy rather than fear and trembling. Thank You for the mercy and grace that await me in Your presence.
I praise Your daily nearness through Your Word and Your Spirit. Both are constant companions along the way, providing comfort and guidance, and demonstrate You are NOT far off.
You are very present. You are my refuge. You are near. Thank You Lord.
Dear one, do you struggle with loneliness? Does the separation present in our “connected” world hurt your heart? Know that the Lord’s nearness means you are NEVER alone.
What blessed people Believers are. We live each day with a near Savior. I pray today You experience that reality in a new way and that as you walk through your day, you feel His presence.
- Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. (Psalm 33:18-19 ESV)
Receive these prayers in your inbox for the rest of the month of January, 2018 and join us in concentrating on the amazing God we serve. He deserves our praise! Everyone who signs up will also receive all the prayer links compiled at the end of the month so we can all keep praising and thanking our extraordinary Savior!