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  • Wayne Chasney

God Is Near

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)

It happened so fast. One moment I was standing next to my mom at the store, looking at sugary sweet cereal on the shelf, and the next moment I was alone. All alone. I was small, maybe 5 or 6 years old, and the store seemed so big. Panic set in. I looked down the aisle one. No mom. The other way. No mom. I started to cry.

The whole event lasted maybe 15 seconds. As I stood there crying, alone in the cereal aisle, my mom came back around the corner pushing the cart and said, “There you are!” She saw I was upset and gave me a hug and wiped away my tears. As I remember, I didn’t let go of her shirt for the rest of the shopping trip.

When we are little, we count on our parents being nearby. They are nearby to get us up in the morning and put us to bed each night. They are nearby to help us get a snack or fix a broken toy. They are nearby to teach us new skills and help us with our homework. Most importantly, they are nearby to protect us from danger and comfort us when we are upset. It doesn’t always mean we are holding tightly to their shirttails, but rather that they are within earshot, ready to come running, or at least a quick-paced trot, when we call on them.

When we grow up and our parents are no longer as near, or we think we don’t need them as near, we rely on friends and spouses to be there for us as we celebrate life’s joys and navigate life’s struggles.

But sometimes – sometimes – we find ourselves alone once again, like a scared child standing in the cereal aisle. Life overwhelms. Clouds form around us. We find ourselves standing in the shadow of a deep, dark valley. Now what?

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

We are not alone. One is near who will embrace us in steadfast love and wipe away our tears. One is near for us to cling to tightly and whose presence is a shelter in any storm.

Yes, the LORD is near to all who call. We are not alone. And with God’s presence and strength we do not have to remain lost for long.

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