Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back to Basics

I am a Christian woman, but sometimes I feel light years away from the God in whom I believe. The bible teaches that God’s presence is constant. Yet, although He promises never to leave me, there are occasional seasons or events in my life  that seem to drive some sort of wedge between us and make His presence feel so far away. Recently, I’ve been in one of those seasons. Loss of a loved one can certainly be one of those events.

Lately, I’ve been feeling an intense desire to just pick up the bible I love and start all over, slowly working my way back into the warmth of God’s loving presence that I know has been there all along. But for me, sometimes approaching the scriptures of God feels like approaching a Geometry test. Let me just tell you, Geometry used to freak me out! Still does. 🙂

One morning,  I took advantage of my early arrival to work and tried to squeeze in some bible reading time. I began in the first of its 66 books, reading Genesis chapter 21. This is the account where Sarah, Abraham’s wife, finally gets pregnant at the ripe old age of 90 years old. The chapter begins with these words:

“Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised.” Genesis 21:1 (NASB)

I never made it beyond the first verse. I mean I froze right there. It was as if these 21 little words leaped from the page and shoved a stop sign in my face. I posted that one little verse on my Facebook page. I even tweeted it. I was so excited about the indescribable feeling I received just from reading it.

“the Lord took note of…as He had said…” and “the Lord did…as He had promised.”

That afternoon, I did finish the rest of the chapter, but throughout the day I thought about the basic aspects of God’s character highlighted in that one simple first verse.

He thinks of me.

He keeps His word.

He keeps His promises.

I believe God stopped me at this one verse to teach me something. Sometimes I need to be just this elementary when it come to Him. I need to approach His word as a child and stop and dwell on the simple treasures of His word and His character. When who He is overwhelms me;  when His power and majesty make Him appear far too busy to take note of little ol’ me; when life happens and seems to send me floating aimlessly in the opposite direction of His presence – it’s ok to become like a child and simply revisit the basics of His character to lead me back home.

Today, if you’re feeling distant from God, I invite you to concentrate on Him with a child-like mind and heart. See how good it feels to dwell on the fact that He thinks about you. Then remind yourself over and over again that He cannot tell a lie. He keeps His word. He makes good on His promises. If He said it in His word, it’s a done deal. Those concepts are oh so simple, and sometime simple is just better.

Do you have a favorite simple bible verse that brings you back to the knowledge of who He is and how much He loves you? If so, will you share it with me in the comments?