Monday, October 18, 2010

The Nearness of God

This is a story from the book, Before You Meet Prince Charming. Although I do not have a sister courting, it has challenged me to draw closer to God. I hope it encourages you too.

The Nearness of God

Testimony from a young lady

     As I was reading my Bible toward the end of last December, I was keeping my eyes open for a verse to especially focus on in 2006. Then one morning, I found it --- a verse that really summed up my desires for the new year! Psalm 73:28 says, “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” As this verse jumped out at me, I thought to myself, “That is exactly what I want! I want to have such a close relationship with the Lord that I won’t be dependent on others to give me joy or satisfaction.” I asked the Lord to help me to truly understand what it means to have the nearness of God be my good, and to enable me to seek Him first and to fall in love with my Savior!
     As January began, I was excited about the upcoming year and wondering what the Lord would bring into my life to help me grow in this area. Just a few weeks later our family heard some shocking news. A young man from our church told my dad that he was interested in pursuing a relationship with my older sister with the purpose of marriage! My sister joyfully said that she was also interested in him and wholeheartedly agreed to a courtship. This began a whole new chapter in my life! At first I wasn’t sure what to think. I excited for my sister, but felt like I was losing one of my best friends. Seeing my older sister’s joy also reminded me of my desire to someday get married and began to stir up thoughts of discontentment. The first week of her courtship was really hard. I was definitely struggling.
     Then God reminded me of the verse I had chosen at the beginning of the year. “But for me the nearness of God is my good.” I knew I needed to look to the Lord—not my sister, nor anyone else—to meet my needs and to be my closest friend.
     As soon as I remember this, I started looking for ways to use my sister’s courtship to help me to delight in the Lord. I decided that I would keep a journal to record parallels between my sister’s relationship with this young man, and my own relationship with the Lord.
     I started to look at my sister’s courtship with new excitement. It has been a special reminder to me of how faithful my God is, how much I can trust Him, and how worthy he is of my whole heart!
     When the young man first asked my sister if he could get to know her better, she faced the initial shock of, “Wow! He is actually interested in me!” This reminded me of the initial joy and amazement we experience when we first understand that God loves us and wants us to be with Him forever.
     Soon my sister was excited to tell everyone the news about her courtship. I should have the same excitement and desire to tell everyone I meet about Christ.
     One day the young man who is courting my sister gave her some flowers. This caused me to wonder, “How does the Lord send me flowers to show that He cares for me?” I began to think of the many little blessings that He had given me, and I wrote them down in my journal.
     Another thing I’ve noticed is how my sister’s face lights up when she talks to or about this young man. This is how I want my relationship with the Lord to be---I want others to see by my countenance of joy that He has brought into my life.
     It seems that the more my sister gets to know this young man, the better she finds him to be. This is true a thousand times over when we get to know the Lord. He seems to get better and better! The more you get to know Him, the sweeter life is.
     It has been so neat to see how God has been helping me to delight in Him this year through the events of my sister’s courtship. I am looking forward to growing closer to Him each day.

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