"She wants you to pick her up, dad." My fifteen month old granddaughter had toddled over to me as soon as she saw me enter the room. Her arms were lifted up reaching for me, and she was smiling. What a great feeling to be wanted for love. Children are unabashed in their efforts to get and give affection. I reached down to pick her up. She leaned in to get a hug, and turned her cheek for a kiss. Amazing!
Then, I thought about our heavenly Abba...Daddy who picks us up to hold us close. I'm glad He's there, and I'm glad that I know how to reach for him.
I was as despondent as I've ever been recently. Load anyone's life with enough disappointment, discouragement, disillusionment and deferred hope and it can take a toll. The slough of despondency is only a few thoughts away. Only Jill knew that I was in despair, but not even she knew how deep.
Notice what I said about thoughts? Happiness IS a choice. How we think about things has everything to do with how we feel. Do we consider our trials as pure joy? Or do we curse them as unfortunate obstacles to add to our list of disappointments?
I reached for the phone with the idea of calling a friend to vent. Papa stopped me. "Talk to me" I heard.
I'm fortunate to have a list of faithful brothers who will be there on a moments notice if I ask to bend their ear. It wasn't that I didn't want to bother them, but rather that I needed to reach for and connect with Jesus, the friend who sticks closer than a brother. As good of friends that I have (or that I can be to them), we're really only as good for each other as we manifest the mind and manner of Christ to each other. So why not go for the Man himself? I'm not saying that should be our only mode of operation. Talking truthfully to faithful friends is part being in fellowship with the Body of Christ. Confessing to each other and bearing burdens is commanded.
The awesome thing I've learned by daring to reach for Him is that He hears us when we cry, and He answers. Different people hear him differently, but all who want to hear Him can hear. He often puts scriptures in my mind. I count on the promised work of the Holy Spirit in this regard. John 14:26 tells us that part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to remind us of all that He has taught us. Cool! On a moment's notice I can be reminded of scripture that I have ingested...who He is, who I am to Him, my future, my purpose, His promises and His plan. Now, if consideration of all that doesn't drag one's spirit out of the slough of despond, what will?
I reached for Him again this morning as I lazily pedaled my bike through river valley and sunny plateau. What a blessing to soak in warm sunshine and breath in the unique scents of early autumn.
Have you been reaching for Him? There is a lot we can reach for...created things and distractions that provide temporary pleasure, but we're really missing an opportunity to be hugged, loved on, consoled and guided if we're not reaching for Him.
When we call on Him, He will answer!
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