These have been the words that have oft come to my mind over the past few months. Simple. Nothing fancy or elaborate. Nothing to figure out, decipher, look at under a microscope. Just, draw near.
These words woo me. Beckon me. They fill my heart to the point of bursting. They make me smile. Draw near.
I believe that this is what God wants of me. No, what he requires of me. I know that there are many ways that one can draw near, many ways that your soul can be stirred, your emotions heightened, your heart filled. I know that withdrawing to a mountain trail is what draws some, or watching the sun rise, or seeing joy on a little child’s face. It can be by listening to music so loud that you can feel it pulsing through your very veins or by the quiet wings of a butterfly fluttering by.
I remember the first time I heard another person say that they see and feel Jesus most evidently when they’re in the city amongst crowds of people and my heart was thrilled and I wanted to scream, “Me too!” I didn’t ever understand why people would want to go into the woods alone to seek Jesus or walk quietly on the beach by themselves. My heart simply didn’t understand. But put me in the middle of a bustling city where bus brakes are screeching and shopping carts are rattling along bumpy sidewalks while being pushed by someone singing a tune or there are crowds of people waiting to cross a street and this way and that there are people sitting and laughing or rushing somewhere or meandering or all alone or in a group but there are people! Where there are people I see life and in life is where I see Jesus!
So I get that we are all on a different journey. We have unique perspectives. We draw near in various ways.
Save for two. Scripture and prayer. We can not draw near without these. I believe it so strongly. We can have scripture and prayer and the quiet of the woods, or scripture and prayer and the chaos of the city, or scripture and prayer and a dark cup of coffee in the early hours of the morning, or scripture and prayer and watching a family of ants go about their daily work – whatever it is, so be it as long as there is scripture and prayer!
I’ve debated with many over the legalism of “devotions” in the typical sense of the word and I will debate it until I die. We need time to draw near. We need time to take in what He has given us in his word and we need time to come to our father and thank him or question him or plead with him or just sit before him. I get that you can look at the ocean and stand in awe of the glory of God in that but I dare you to draw near through scripture and prayer and see if that ocean doesn’t bring you to your knees the next time you see it.
Draw near. Brothers and sisters in Christ, draw near.