On that sunny day I walked on the sidewalk next to the cemetery. I loved the cemetery because it was peaceful and had lots of trees. When I could I would spend time just sitting in the valley that ran through the cemetery because it was so beautiful. As I walked alongside the fence I saw something moving ahead of me on the sidewalk. I wasn’t sure what it was until I got closer. There was a bird that was hurt, hopping on the sidewalk unable to fly.
It was a small bird and I wanted to help it. I tried to get closer but fear took over. I had never touched a live bird. I wondered what it would feel like but could not get close. I reasoned with myself that I touched dogs and they were alive, so why not a bird. I became so afraid that I had to walk out in the street to get away from it. My heart wanted to help it but my fear of the unknown made me walk away. I wondered if anyone would help it and was upset with myself that I could not be that person.
I still have some of that same reaction when I go fishing. I love to fish as long as my husband is there to bait the line—if it is live bait, and help take the fish off the hook. I even bought myself gloves to wear so I could hold the fish without fear of being hurt by the scales, but I could not do it because the fish would always move and I would scream and let go. I am working on overcoming this fear.
I think there is the same kind of fear inside of us that sometimes keeps us from approaching God. We know that He is alive and we know that He is powerful which makes it difficult to wrap our thoughts around approaching Him. But James tells us in
James 4:8 (NKJV)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Our fear of approaching God has more to do with our sinful nature than anything else. But the rewards of drawing near to Him are so much greater than the momentary embarrassment and guilt we feel on the way to Him. If we overcome our fear of punishment and shame we can receive grace and mercy. So the question becomes do we enjoy the embarrassment and guilt, the fear of punishment and shame so much that we would not trade them in for grace and mercy?
I say it is time to embrace the changes God has for us, shed the embarrassment, guilt, fear of punishment and shame so we can draw nearer to God. He will gently guide us on the right path, show us grace and mercy and forgive our transgressions.
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
My goal in life is to bring God glory, but I can’t do that if I am not close to Him. Would you join me this week in drawing nearer to God so He can work in our lives and gain the Glory that is due Him? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.