Closer than you think

We instinctively look for God far away from us, especially when we face seemingly insurmountable situations. This would provide a valid “excuse” for failure and defeat. After all, if God is so far away, something external to us, something we have no control over could stop us from reaching Him. Even when we pray, we place God in heaven.

However, I realize that as one redeemed by Christ Jesus, God lives in me. This fact requires deep contemplation to apprehend and not just a quick religious acknowledgement. Even for those who have not received God’s Love, God is closer than their breath. The implications are that no one has a problem and none of us have any excuse whatsoever. Our only challenge is how to connect with the very present help, who either dwells in us or is closer in reality than the air we breathe.

I have been meditating on this truth for a while but it became strong recently as I was tempted to panic because of a challenge I was facing, business-wise. The thought that came to me, which I was tempted to ignore, was “calm down”. Calm down? Yes, calm down. The One who asks me to calm down is the One who has all things under control. You really do not have a problem if you have the solution to all problems do you? Calm down. Your answer is closer than you think. You may even want to dance for joy in the midst of your challenges.

I am realizing that truly, no one perishes or fails because salvation or solutions are far from them, but because we ignore the One close to us – God, in whom resides all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The solutions to individual and societal challenges are within our grasp, as close as our thoughts, as close as the words of our mouths. How come? God, who has the answers to all challenges, is only a thought or a word away.

Why not just pull a chair, sit down and talk to God as you would talk to an all-powerful friend who loves you to death? One may ask, “how will I receive the answer?” Why not just trust that the One who is creative enough to have brought the universe and us into existence is smart enough to know how to give you the idea, the thought or the answer you need?

When we fail, we do not fail because the answer is far away, we fail because we do not reach out to the One within or open the door to the One knocking right now at the door of our hearts. How can God be far away when He lives within? Really, how can God be far away when He is knocking on the door of our hearts, 24/7? Could it be that we are looking elsewhere?

What is hopeless?

We claim to believe in the death and resurrection of God’s Son but most times we act differently. If God incarnate really died as a sacrificial lamb, and rose again, surely, a murderer or adulterer can be restored, renewed, recreated. Whatever was powerful enough to cause God to become a man, die and come back from death to life as God of all, surely must be powerful enough to redeem the worst of humans and the worst of situations. Should it not?

Why do we exempt certain kinds of people from redemption? Why do we exempt situations in our lives or in the world from redemption? What manner of hypocrisy makes us do so? The Creator came down from heaven, became a man and died, then rose again. Who is too wicked, who is too far gone to be redeemed by such a sacrifice? What individual or societal challenge is beyond such a sacrifice?

The Son of God, the Creator, not a mere animal was the slaughtered lamb. The Creator’s blood, not the blood of an animal, is the covering. He was sacrificed and came back to life. Now, who is beyond redemption? Who cannot be recreated by the same power that raised Jesus Christ from death? Now, who is hopeless? What is hopeless? Why do we act as though that sacrifice and the shed blood is limited? Do we really believe God the Creator of all things was the sacrificial lamb meaning everything and everyone in the universe is covered?

Lord help me to lead a life worthy of the sacrifice that recreated me. Let my present internal experience and external manifestations testify that God was the lamb that redeemed me. Help me not to negate my own redemption and dishonor your offering, your sacrifice, your life, your blood by relating with anyone as though they are beyond redemption. Help me to see that no one and nothing can possibly be beyond redemption given that you, the author of existence are the one who died and rose again.

– Tolúlopé