Hanging on to the hem.
You ever feel like God is a million miles away…? That He’s unreachable, He’s not hearing your prayers, and you can’t seem to find Him anywhere? I’ll be honest, I’ve been there. I’ve been there more times than I can count.
Not too long ago I was living my life contrary to the Word of God, and when I finally decided I was tired of living that way I started searching for something to make me “feel better about myself.” But everything I looked to didn’t help.
In my last attempt to find that “something” I picked up the book my high school youth leader and given me. It made me feel uncomfortable. It convicted me – a feeling I had not felt in a long time. It gave me a feeling that nothing else I had tried had given me – I didn’t like it – but I kept reading. After about three chapters, it started to click. What I needed, what I was searching for was God – or rather a deeper, personal relationship with Him. I realized that He was still in the same place as I had left Him, He hadn’t moved; but rather, I was the one that had wandered far from Him. So is there any wonder why I felt like God was a million miles away?
I recalled James 4:8 to my mind: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” That told me that I needed to take the first step. From there it would be a continuing cycle. If I take a step towards God, He’ll take a step towards me. I take a step. He takes a step. I step. He steps.
A friend of mine sent me a text last night. I smiled, because I remembered once feeling the same way she felt.
“I don’t know how to get close to God… I have tried but it feels like He’s not there.”
Remember in the Bible there was a woman with an issue of blood? (see Mark 5:25-34) She tried everything to try and find a cure for her ailment, but to no avail. Everyone had told her that her situation was hopeless, but one day she heard Jesus was passing through the town. Can’t you just picture how it might have been?
She ran, stumbled, limped, and crawled through the crowd to get to where Jesus was. Then she saw Him. He was right there – no more than a few feet in front of her – and as she reached for Him she tripped and fell to the ground. Stretching her arm out all the more, she caught hold of the hem of His garment and just hung on for dear life!
You know the rest of the story. Jesus had compassion and healed her of the situation that so many before had called hopeless. I am like that woman. I have an issue, a problem. When I feel like God is nowhere near me and Satan tells me that God could never love me and that my salvation is all a hoax, that’s when I stretch out my arm all the more and grasp the hem of Jesus’ garment and just hold on for dear life!
I’m sure I am not the only one who has ever felt this way. We will all travel through the valley at one point or another. We will all have our times of wandering. And when we start feeling alone and like God is a million miles away, we need to remember that it’s not God who has moved. It’s a two-way street. We cannot expect God to do all the work while we reap all the benefits. No. We need to first draw nigh to Him – reach out and grasp the hem of His garment – and then He will draw Himself nigh to us.