Near the Father

When our children were small, they used to love to be near their daddy no matter where he was or what he was doing. If he had some outside job to do, they were right behind him, following his every step. If he went somewhere in the car they would gladly stand next to him with their arms around his neck while he drove. (Those were the days before seat belts and car seats.)

When he came home late from Bible studies, they would sit by him while he ate his evening meal—just watching and waiting for any sign of affection. As they grew a little older they loved to accompany their dad on those evening studies. Road trips were the best. Sometimes they curled up in the back well of the car floor board as the thump, thump, thump of the tires on a cement road lulled them into slumber. They were content just to be wherever he was.

When I was a child, I remember seeing my mother sit for hours reading her Bible. Because I was a very active little girl, the concept of sitting in a chair seemed untenable to me, but surely my mother knew what it was like to be near her Heavenly Father. On her death bed, her continual request was that I sing the hymn 'Be with Me Lord'. Just the idea of being near her Heavenly Father gave her great comfort in her dying hours.

Seeing this kind of affection has often made me wonder why children in God's family don't have more desire to be near the Heavenly Father. Why would God's children not continually seek the Father in his Word, just to be near him?

How often do we draw close to our Father in study? Are we searching the scriptures daily (Acts 17:11)? Do we go to the Father in prayer just to be near Him, or do we wait until some crisis arises when we must have his help? Are we praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? Like children of a physical family, if we abide in close fellowship with our Father through prayer and study, we will be greatly blest. What comfort and love we are missing if we are not near to Him.

"For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God" (Ecclesiastes 9:1).

Beth Johnson

Published in The Old Paths Archive