Romans 5:8-11 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us… And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
In just a few days now Jeff will marry Brandy. As he anticipates his wedding day and the joy that comes with it, he will travel a lot along the way. Between his flight to Michigan and back to PA today and then his 2-day drive from PA to Louisiana, he will have a lot of time to himself, thinking, imagining and awaiting. I imagine it no more difficult than the engagement period where much of his time he spent away from his fiancé. Working in North Dakota and New Jersey and now PA, much of his relationship developed over the phone. Several trips to Louisiana including his most recent trips for marriage counseling have provided time to form their relationship and also develop his character. And now, He and Brandy get to share in a desire of each other’s heart. Congratulations to them both!
The thing about distance though, is that love need not lessen or grow cold though it may. It’s said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” It seems more true to say, that: “only in devotion to the absent one does the heart grow fonder.” Since God’s devotion to us is never in question, it leaves me asking, will I allow my devotion to Him allow my heart to be tenderized enough to be constantly fond of Him?
Much of my relationship with God feels like a long distance phone call. Some days I hear him clearly over the line and I say my yes and amen. Other days I get bad reception in the Endless Mountains of PA. For a while there it felt like I was going to be lost and lonely for an endless amount of time here. It sometimes still feels like my part in this betrothal to Jesus is me waiting powerless for him to come to marry his Bride (the Church). Worse yet sometimes I doubt He will or wants to. But then I’m reminded of that verse and the prodigal son story. When I feel a long way off, or when the chasm of heaven coming to earth still seems too great, or when I feel a great distance away from those I love or those I thought I loved, I remember Jesus’ simple invitations, to follow him, repent (return to him), draw near to Him. He promises to run to me, draw near to me, and grace me with His presence. Then love doesn’t seem so far away. In fact, sometimes it feels like it’s actually inside me.
Stay tuned for the next Long Engagements Post: Long Wait.