Today: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Is now the time to find God?    (2/10/2013 )

I’ve often heard people say to me, ‘I wish I had a faith!’ — and I just don’t understand it. If I wished I had an apple, I’d go and get one… provided apples were available and I could afford one.

So what’s stopping people? After all, God’s welcome is available around the clock, and doesn’t cost a penny!

Perhaps what these people really mean is, ‘It would be nice to have a faith, but it might stop me doing what I want to do… so I’ll wait, and think about it later. Maybe when I’m older.’

I wonder how long they will leave it. Have you heard of the phrase, ‘death-bed conversion’? It’s when someone waits until their last dying breath before placing their belief in God. Death-bed conversions can be very genuine, powerful, moving and critically important moments. A friend of mine recently lost her father, but the most amazing news was that he turned to God in his last days. Christian chaplains working in hospitals often have the privilege of being with people at such a time.

Not everyone is ‘fortunate’ enough to have time for a death-bed conversion, however! Sadly, some people experience sudden deaths, which mean they’re unable to make any preparations at all — whether physical, legal, mental or spiritual.

God welcomes every single latecomer just as he would those who have believed all their lives. In fact, Jesus even told a parable about it! But I wonder if we’re considering God here — or just ourselves? After all, every relationship involves at least two people (or it’s not a relationship), and surely the view of both sides should be taken into account? If you’re anything like me, you find it frustrating and upsetting when relationships seem to be imbalanced and all in favour of the other person!

I can’t pretend to speak for God, of course. But I do know one thing, and that is that God loves to be, and wants to be, in relationship with his people. As our father in heaven, who created us and nurtured us (whether we’ve always been aware of that or not), God loves us as his very precious children.

Such amazing love, surely, demands a response? Those who love God can only do so because God already loved them first — from the beginning of time, before the universe was created; massively, hugely, beyond any other love we can imagine! Such love, once we begin to recognise it (for we can never understand it fully) cannot go unacknowledged.

Plus, I can only imagine that it’s painful to God to continually pour out love to people who quite deliberately choose to delay acknowledging it… who don’t seem to want to enjoy the fantastic advantage of a relationship with God before death as well as after.

So what I’m asking is, have you ever thought: ‘I wish I had a faith’? Have you ever delayed turning your face towards God until ‘later’?

Perhaps now is the right time to find God! This is what the Bible suggests

Pray: Lord, help me to see that relationship is what counts. Help me to conquer my fears, and to take on board what I already believe, deep down, to be true: life with you is better than life without you. Draw close to me, please. Amen.

Think about: What sort of reasons do you think people have for putting off contacting God?

Challenge: Are you going to talk to God today?

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