Ever notice God's invitations to draw close to Him are not always delivered on a linen colored, heavy stock, gold embellished invitation?Ideally, we should make a continual attempt to come to him in all things. After all, how much easier would our lives be? Human nature dictates otherwise. Recently, I had a "picture" flash through my mind of God's hands extended toward me. Some might call that revelation from God. In my mind's eye, I saw him take my hands and place His fingers on some "bruises" that were beginning to heal on my hands, but, not really. I don't know about you, but, when I am hurt, I tend to stop pursuing God. I stop enjoying my time with Him. In fact, sometimes, these are times when it is harder for me to press into the presence of the Lord. A child of the 70's, I remember growing up in a very turbulent world with the Vietnam war raging and all of the controversy surrounding it. I remember seeing Laugh In on the television and thinking "this show is not right". My first memory of a television set in our home was in the late sixties, early seventies when we watched shows like the Brady Bunch and Batman. Odd that as a child/teenager, I could differentiate between the relative harmless effect of "Holy smoke Batman!" to the mild sexual innuendo (compared to today's t.v.) of Laugh-In. Patterns stood out to me even then. My time outdoors was my panacea for the world's mysteries. I spent my time out with friends walking, giggling over nonsense. The things that young girls find funny~ even today my girls' giggles bring back such wonderful memories. Meantime, all of the problems I faced were buried deep down inside and I soon developed a hard exterior. By the time I was in college, I had people tell me that I was scary. Several guys came to me after those growing up years to say that I was someone that they would have liked to date, but, I was too unapproachable. Ah. Well, that was the point! My first experience with the opposite sex was far too young and it was a memory that was so traumatic, I buried it for a long time. I'm repeating myself on other posts with this topic, so, I'll leave it at that. My point is that when you place "busyness" in your life so as not to deal with the hurts and pains in your life, then you are simply complicating an already painful situation. DRAW NEAR TO GOD~ sounds like a command to me. Our pastor spoke about prayer in service yesterday. He put several images on the screen in front of the church. What are your concepts of Father God? Is it of some faceless, far away tyrant? Or an angry lightning bolt throwing mad man? Or, just a big Santa Claus in the sky? In the past thirty years, my concept has morphed from the latter descriptions to a loving, always patient, compassionate Father. The circumstances that have drawn me near to Him, have been difficult, but, the results of the time I have spent with Him have been more then worth it. My invitations came in the form of betrayal by friends, marital problems, cancer, loved ones battling depression, heart breaking losses. Though I would not choose this for my life, all of it has brought me to a place where I KNOW my heavenly Father. He is as He says He is. As I've drawn closer to Him, he has proven himself to me. Yes. God does not have to prove Himself to anyone, least of all myself. HE is God after all. But, as I poured out my hurt and rage on Him, He did not throw the lightning bolt. He did not strike me down dead. The lie is as old as the beginning of the world. "Is God really good?" As I let go of the buried hurts, the current hurts, I learned to bring it all to Him. He truly does see and know all that we have been through. How do I know for sure? Is my faith just a wonderful delusion in a crazy world? I can say no, because over and over again God has been faithful to show me He is real. He has healed my emotional and physical wounds. He has replaced wounds meant to snuff out my life with a desire to serve Him. He has taken my hard heart and given me a new heart to love my abusers. My part is to merely "draw near." Proverbs 3:5&6 says it best, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. In all your ways acknowledge Him.... Intimacy with Him is not an easy process by any means. In fact, it comes at a great price~ giving up your ways, your independence, dying to your flesh. My earthly daddy always told me that "fun" does not make the world go around. For sure it does not. He told me and I will never forget, "LOVE makes the world go around Kelly" Seasons of my life have come and gone. Loved ones have been there for me. And, other times it has seemed that I do not have a soul to talk to. These are the times, like today, I have found that God is calling me to draw near. As wisdom dictates, I draw near. It's taken a while to learn that, but, certainly it is a good lesson to learn. Hope you spend time drawing near to God for refreshing, wisdom, friendship with Him, today. Through His Holy Spirit, He lifts the oppression, heals the hurts, exposes the lies, and transforms you forever. His love is on display through His son Jesus Christ on the cross. If you are in so much pain that you cannot even focus on that, then, just call on the name of Jesus and He promises to be there for you. He always, always will.