Thirty-One Days of Drawing Near to God
- Wednesday, March 23, 2011
When the fears returned, I would say, “Tell me again.” I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand….
“Lord,” I responded, “I really need someone to hold my hand. And I have Someone: I have You! I’ve never had anyone better and I never will.” Prayers like this kept me open to God and able to receive His love as He met my need.
I also discovered how much I wanted someone to tell me the words “I love you.” Brian and Doreen said this often, but I longed for someone big to say it. The Lord often spoke of His love for me by reminding me of Isaiah 43:4—“You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” (RSV). I was to Him like a precious gem, which is loved not for its usefulness but for its great emotional value. I was honored in His eyes—amazing! And at any moment I could pause and let Him say, “I love you.” I especially needed to pause like that in the summer.
Summer was the big conference season at Glen Eyrie, and there wasn’t room for us in the castle. During those months each year we would rent a house in nearby Pleasant Valley, where my lonely times came more frequently.
Our neighbors one year included our Navigator friends Leroy and Virginia Eims. One beautiful summer evening I looked over, saw their home, and envisioned them inside happily together. “Virginia has Leroy,” I began thinking, and I was tempted to complete the thought with “but I don’t have anybody.” However, I’d been warned that when I saw happy couples together I would be tempted with jealousy, so I had prayed about this and decided on a way to respond. I prayed, “Lord, give Leroy and Virginia a good evening. Bless them. Bless their relationship. And I thank You that I have You. Now tell me how You feel about me.”
You are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you.
“Thank You, Lord, that I still have the best love I’ve ever had or ever will have.”
These were the years when the red notebook you’ll read about in Day 2 was filling up with God’s personal words to me about Himself. I had started a new page with the heading “My _________,” and had begun to fill the page with verses that actually used the word “my”: my Rock, my Shepherd, my Champion, my Beloved, and so forth. I had settled on Psalm 16:5 in the Moffatt translation as my favorite verse for this page: “Thou art what I obtain from life, O thou Eternal, thou thyself art my share.” My joy that God was “my Share in life” increased as I added Psalm 142:5, also from Moffatt: “I have thee as my very own, in the land of the living.”
One summer I found myself focusing on God as my Father. I had a wonderful earthly father who loved me deeply, and I had always thought it was great to have God as my Father as well. But now, in this time of deeper loneliness, it meant so much more. I especially liked Romans 8:15 where J. B. Phillips, in place of “Abba, Father,” says, “Father, my Father.” I’d wake up in the morning thinking, “Father, my Father!” For the first time I was really taken with this thought. I imagined crawling onto His lap as a little girl and nestling in His arms as I spoke the words, “My Father!” One morning, the day after we had moved from Glen Eyrie for the conference season, I woke up filled with low and lonely feelings. I started my quiet time, admitting to the Lord that I really didn’t feel like having one. My Bible reading for that morning was Psalm 102. I came to these words: “I am like a pelican in the desert, like an owl moping in the ruins…like a lonely bird on the roof” (verses 6–7, Moffatt). Already I felt better—the psalmist had been even bluer than I was!
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