MEETING ME HALFWAY
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
I grew up in a two-story Victorian house set high atop a hill in the Taconic mountains of upstate New York. Just across the dirt road and down over a steep bank lived a Japanese-American family. They had seven daughters and the oldest was my best friend. Her name was Julie. After school each day, I would run to the fence, look down into her yard and yell, “Meet me by the tree!” The tree was really a tree stump that was exactly half way down the hill for me, and half way up the hill for her. We would meet there with after-school snacks in tow. Eager to meet and talk away an hour or two, I can still see her running toward me. The sight is precious in my memory.
This ‘running to meet each other’ is the context of today’s scripture. God wants me to know that as I run toward Him, He will more than match my enthusiasm by running toward me in return. A quickened pace. Excitement in His eyes. Delightful expectation of fellowship in His heart.
For any who has yearned for a certain relationship, only to have the desire be terribly one-sided, this is a promise to embrace wholeheartedly. There are few things more painful than to love, to ache for another’s presence, only to understand that the other person has put us out of their heart. Not only don’t they long for our company, we are out of their thoughts entirely. We count the minutes until we can see them but we are grieved to sense that we are an afterthought.
It’s hard to fathom that God would be so vulnerable to my love. Would He really choose to love me so much that He would be pained by my absence? If I’m too busy to make time for Him, does He miss me? Yes. He loves as I do when I’m at my best – only infinitely more so. When my heart turns toward Him, even slightly, He discerns it and starts off in my direction. He anticipates the reunion. Perhaps when I call His name, He closes His eyes with pleasure at the sound of my voice.
I’ve seen many reunions in the baggage claim areas of airports. Names are called, footsteps quicken, tears often fall, and the embrace warms the heart of anyone who witnesses it. Though I may not know the people, I can feel their joy. Each vignette gives me a glimpse into the heart of the One who made each of us in His image.
When I say, “Jesus?” You answer immediately. You never shrug with indifference or turn the other way when I call. Such love I cannot believe. I celebrate Your faithfulness today. Amen