Thursday, June 11, 2009

Luke #64 - I Get Sad When You Leave

Luke #64 – I Get Sad When You Leave
“And when it was day, He departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought Him, and came unto Him, and stayed Him, that He should not depart from them” (Luke 4:42 – King James Version).

At the writing of this story, Katie was a wonderful little 3 1/2 year old person that God had blessed my life with.

Recently, she and I were reading a book about feelings. The book identified and gave the proper name to a range of feelings that we often feel. It has helped Katie tell me how she feels on several occasions; it’s not often that a young child her age knows how to tell someone that she is “disappointed.” I asked Katie several questions about her feelings, like “What makes you happy?” and “What makes you angry?” Of course, she gave me childlike answers like “When I go to church.” or “When someone takes something from my hand.” Then, as she often does, she floored me. I said, “Katie, what makes you sad?” Already seated on my lap, Katie laid her head against my chest, began to rub the back of my head, and said, “When you leave.” I almost lost it! I nearly began to weep. I realized that my child so loved me that she was saddened when I was not around.

Another story (if you don’t mind)…I am always amazed that the young people I minister to hate to go home from retreats and camps. I usually cannot wait to go home and see my family. Something occurred to me one day when we were packing up after a retreat. During these various outings these kids find themselves in an insulated environment, away from routine and distractions, and they meet with God. When it comes time to leave they do not want to go because they are afraid that the preciousness of that encounter with God cannot be duplicated in another place.

Jesus went to spend time alone with God and the people followed Him, sensing that He was preparing to leave Capernaum. They had seen and felt the awesome power of God’s healing in Christ Jesus. They had felt the dear touch of God and wanted Him to linger among them. They wanted more! Nearness to this wonderful power had become sweet and they begged the Christ to stay.

When God stepped down from heaven and took the form of man in Jesus it was Isaiah’s prophecy coming to life…God was with man (Isaiah 7:14)! He walked among us, talked with us, died for us, and defeated death and sin for us. Jesus healed, taught, and broke the power of sin and broke the bonds of sin. I cannot blame the people of Capernaum for begging Jesus to stay.

For the believer today, we need not hearken to some certain place or cling to a location for we have a much sweeter Jesus amongst us…by that I mean to say that He is no longer ONLY “God with us” but GOD IN US! Praises to His wonderful name! Bless God, O my soul, bless God! By His dying on the cross; by His going up, ascending to the Father, He provided a coming in for Himself…an indwelling in believers that assures us the never ending access to His presence. After all, that was His promise (John 15:5; Matthew 28:20). We do not have to depend on a solitary moment or place to experience His presence.

Were we like to Christ as my sweet little girl is to me…that we would be saddened by His absence, or even at the thought of the possibility. Were we to so love our Lord that to not be near Him would make us sad, we would finally grasp the intimacy that He wants with us.

The sad truth is that He doesn’t leave us, we leave Him. We sin or become apathetic. We drift away, sometimes not even knowing exactly how it happened. Maybe it’s got something to do with the distractions. Maybe it’s got something to do with busyness. I am sure it has a lot to do with lack of focus and much to do with our selfish and sinful hearts.

This much is certain…if we seek Him, He will be found (2 Chronicles 15:15). That’s a promise that we should gladly accept and pursue. He will not abandon us (Deuteronomy 4:31; Joshua 1:5; 1 Samuel 12:22; Hebrews 13:5…and many more!). We simply must walk in His ways and in humility meet with Him in prayer and the Scripture. Trust me, He’ll show up.

How sweet is fellowship with Christ to you today? Are you saddened when He’s not near to you? Do you need a place or a certain feeling to meet with Him? Seek Him out today; beg Him to be near. He will.

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