‘God is near to all who call upon Him’

Some years ago, I met an affable couple who were going through a very difficult time in their lives.

Some years ago, I met an affable couple who were going through a very difficult time in their lives. Relationally, they were strong, but physical illness was presenting some pretty serious challenges to them. They had requested my visit, hoping to find some encouragement.

During the course of the visit, we began discussing how to face hardships and of course the question of where God fits into these trying times came up.

The lady had spent quite a bit of time studying philosophy and reading various self-help books. The man admitted that he really hadn’t explored the matter very much. Yet, when we discussed the matter of the existence of God, it was clear that the man firmly believed in God, but his wife’s faith was quite frail, if not faulty.

I asked them if they would explain to me the basis of their belief in God.

The lady said, “I just believe that He exists, but I don’t really know why.”

The man answered by pointing first to a Bible on the coffee table and then to the picture window. He said, “Every word in His Book, and every sight in His creation tells me that God is real.”

His comments reminded me of a happily married man with a wife and three year old daughter. Everything seemed perfect until his wife was killed in an automobile accident. His joy vanished and he slipped into the darkness of grief, sorrow, and fear.

The night after his wife’s funeral, he was tucking his little girl into bed when all the lights in the house suddenly went out. He didn’t want to leave his daughter alone, so he picked her up and made his way carefully down the stairs to find the electrical panel to see what might’ve gone wrong.

The little girl snuggled into him in silence, but when they got to the basement, she tightened her arms around his neck and said, “It’s so dark, but I’m not afraid, because you’re here with me Daddy.”

Tears filled his eyes and truth filled his heart. He snuggled closer to his daughter and said, “Thank you, honey. It is dark, but I’m not afraid either, because my Father is here with me, too.”

We can easily spend our lives on journeys that have no end, philosophies that contain no truth and pursuits that yield no satisfaction. However, like my friend, we need to pick up the Word and look out the window.

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 145:18); “The LORD is near to those whose hearts are humble.; He delivers those who are discouraged” (Psalm 34:18).

Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.

— Faith & Reflection

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