By Christa Sterken
“Come near to God and he will come near to you” James 4:8
While unpacking after a recent move, I started the arduous process of unloading my book collection. This would be no small job, so I was prepared for a workout. What I wasn’t prepared for was the lesson I would soon be reminded of hidden there on the shelf. Seeing all the familiar friends coming out into view again comforted me. I was noticing the interesting titles I have of Christian books, shelves of them, many I have yet to read. I have a habit of buying fabulous sounding books, intending to read them soon. Often though, they sit gathering dust while I get focused on other things. There are so many subjects to choose from, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the choices.
I must confess that I often feel like that in the rest of my life, overwhelmed by the amount of things to think about. It is so easy to do; we all have so many commitments vying for our time. All of our lives are different, but they do tie together with a similar thread. They all can steal our time away, leaving little for the stillness to sustain us, our quiet time with God.
In times like these, life is smoother when I am focused on God and his plan for my life. However, occasionally my quiet time gets put on my “to-do” list with everything else, another thing to check off the list. This is certainly not the way it should be. Our time spent with God is a relationship, not an obligation. We cheat ourselves out of peace and guidance, when we lose sight of what should be our primary goal. We have someone there to offer us assistance, an open ear, a shoulder to cry on and a friend to sing praises with.
As I scanned the titles, I realized my Bible was neatly lined up with the others. A shelf is no place for my Bible; easy to forget and just admire the cover. Our time with God is the lifeline that keeps us going, giving us the strength, comfort and hope we need each and every day. James 4:8 (NIV) says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you” reminding us if we feel distant from God to stop what we are doing and find him. He is here, waiting for us with open arms to welcome us home.