Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Last night, our oldest wandered into our room not long after bedtime. He said he couldn't sleep because his mind kept imagining scary things. He crawled into bed and put his head on my chest. I told him how I get scared sometimes too. And when I do, I think about good things. "What good things did you do this week?" I asked him. (I'm not afraid to steal good parenting advice from movies, one of my favorite things.)
"Well. I did play some. And when you're home, I stay close to you as much as I can."
It reminded me of the passage in James. As parents, we often are ready to run to our children when they need us. But I sometimes forget, they find their own ways to draw near to us. Perhaps that's one of the reasons children are the example Christ points to for our faith. We are assured over and over in scripture of God's promise to be near us in times of need. But we must also remember to draw near to God.
So often, our anxiety in a relationship can be measured by the perceived distance between us.
We know how to draw near to God. In prayer, in scripture, in the fellowship of other believers, and in tending to the needs of the least of these. As we gather at table today, we strengthen our ties to family and friends when we draw close to them. As Advent draws near, remembering when God drew near to us in a manger, we prepare our hearts to draw near to God.
Prayer for Today
Lord, help me to sit in the quiet and draw near to you, to read your word, to be with your people, and to serve those in need. Amen.