Some people like to retain their distance in relationships but most will enjoy a close relationship with at least one other person. It might be with a parent they can trust, partner or a long-standing friend with whom they can be open. If sadly they become estranged or that person dies, there is a deep sense of loss and loneliness. This foal doesn’t have to question how close and personal it wants to be with his mum - he needs her milk and protection; she gives him this with unconditional care as you would discover if you tried to separate them. Assuming we are given good parents, there is a similarity when we consider our early years of dependence - close and personal is the best way. When we are ‘born again’, becoming ‘alive to God’ brings us into a relationship that is also best when it is close and personal. We are called to intimacy with God as our Father who is for us, Jesus our Saviour who advocates for us and the Holy Spirit who seals this, going on to help us in more ways than we realise.
- ‘I owe everything to my mom. She definitely got me to where I'm at today. Without her I wouldn't be able to do the things that I do. She and I are very close’ - David Lambert
- ‘It's never nice to lose someone close to you; unfortunately, life goes on, and we have to make peace with it and move on’ - Francois Hougaard
- ‘My dream is to live a good life and be loving, be close to God and be a good human being and bring peace to people’ - Ziggy Marley
- ‘Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives’ - Mike Yaconelli
Just like the foal, our five physical senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell propel us to relationship with our parent for survival. Unlike the foal, we also have spiritual needs that need satisfying - we yearn to be close and personal with someone who can help us understand why we are here and what happens when we die. At the heart of the universe, we find the answers in a three-way relationship that could not be more close and personal. Whilst the ‘Doctrine of the Trinity’ is complex, the reality is much simpler - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so close they are One but also Three persons, each relating to us as individuals. God the Father adopts us as children; God the Son makes the connection possible through the cross; God the Holy Spirit does the rest.
- ‘A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother’ - Proverbs 18:24
- ‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity’ - John 17:20-22
- ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ - 1 John 3:1
- ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church’ - Ephesians 5:31-32
It has been said that God has no grandchildren! Nor does he leave us as orphans and vulnerable in the world - Jesus teaches through John 14 that God wants relationship with us as individuals in one-to-one relationships that are close and personal. It is so close that the Holy Spirit is given to live ‘with you and will be in you’ (v17). Jesus tells us that ‘the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them’ (v21). You could well contrast this with how things were in the Old Testament where it seems that God was close to the very few such as Abraham, Moses and David. The mission of Jesus is to bring all who trust in him into intimacy with God. Throughout the four gospels, you can see how Jesus blessed crowds with food but met with individuals as he called them, asked them about their needs and healed them. Jesus gave us the church to be a family made up of individuals with different personalities, ethnicities, gifts and ‘works prepared in advance’. Take another walk through any gospel and look how Jesus ministered to individuals like Peter, Mary, Thomas, Nicodemus, John, the woman at the well and Zacchaeus. This is how he ministers to you too - close and personal.
If you don’t feel that intimacy at present, ask God to draw you close and personal by his Spirit. The Lord wants you to be close with him and he feels it when you are distant. Joy certainly comes when a person knows the closeness of God to meet every need - why would we want anything else? The foal provides a great object lesson and reminder of what is best for you right now.
ALL AT SEA - https://youtu.be/geo_NCCizMo
TAGS - distant, abandoned, forsaken, alien, accepted, chosen, adopted, included, valued