Drawing Near

By: Blake Hudspeth
Contrary to what his name suggests, my son Bear is a cuddler. Not just at bedtime either. He’s pretty much down to cuddle at any point in the day. To his mother’s delight, it’s been that way all 8 years of his life. Mae (my 6th grade daughter), however, is more like me. We’re not anti-hugs or allergic to snuggles or anything. We like them alright. Just not as often.

But in both cases, they like to be near. I like it as well.

Sometimes they just need to sit in my lap. Other times they need me to plop down on the fuzzy bean bag chair in the corner of their room and answer questions about life. And then there are those normal, humdrum everyday moments when they simply pass me in the living room but decide to stop, kiss my cheek, say they love me, and continue into the kitchen to get their snack or whatever it was they were coming to do.

Those moments bless me so much.

If my kids are scared, they draw near. If they’re confused or disappointed or in despair, they draw near. When they’re in danger or need help, they draw near. Of course they do. I’m their dad.

But there’s something special when my kids draw near amidst their hustling and bustling. In the mundane of their day, they’ve stopped to tell me how glad they are that I’m near. It makes me want to draw even nearer to them.

James 4:6-8a
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

How often in your day do you stop and invite God’s nearness? I’ve begun doing it more. When my family’s piling in the car to go on a trip or I’m just sitting by myself at breakfast. I’ll stop, turn to the Lord and say, “Father, today, I just want you to be near.” I do the same in moments of temptation. Resisting the devil has become an invitation for God to draw near.

He always does. I believe it blesses Him as it does me.

As I continue this practice, I’m learning more and more what the Psalmist meant when he wrote, “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) Whether in danger or safety, health or pain, rest or work, it is good for my Father to be near. You probably believe the same. So, when was the last time you stopped on your way to the kitchen to tell Him?
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