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Are You There, God?

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

James 4:8

I work tirelessly as a child sex trafficking advocate, a ministry leader, and member of my family - everyday in a different order. Some days it easy to feel like I am journeying solo, apart form God, with the temptation to think He may have just forgotten me over here. You know, overlooked me for today.

"Are you still there?" is maybe not a phrase we have all said, but a general thought that has crossed all our minds before. We are like Moses, seeing all God has done and yet wondering if He will continue to be our travel partner on the last leg of the journey. We find this story in Exodus 33.

I imagine the scene of what is was like for Moses to meet in that sacred, yet dusty tent -- everyday, speaking directly with God like two best friends over coffee.

Exodus 33:11a "Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

I imagine the grandeur of God's holiness and the people looking on towards the tent, seeing God's very presence, standing at attention and then bending low in that hot sand in admiration. What was it like to exit a tent knowing you had been communing with the God of Angel Armies and how awing yet comfortable were these interactions for Moses? That tension fills me with amazement. And while Scripture tells us this tent was a little far off, anyone could access it. Anyone could meet with God face to face.

I wonder how many took the time to do so, however. Because despite the intimate relationship between God and Moses, in verse 3, God tells him that even though this is the new generation of Israelites, He won't be traveling with them into this new land of promise. He would see they get there, alright. But, He most definitely did not sign up for the eye-rolling caravan with His beloved yet "stubborn and rebellious people".

I can be like them. I can be tempted to get lazy, fearful, respond harshly to my husband, lose my patience with some IT department, drive too fast, or discourage my kids. I have made choices that show a rebellious and stubborn heart towards God. And, it dawned on me. While I was asking God, "Are you still there?" He was responding with "No, are you here?"

God asks of us if we have made the effort to come just outside our comfort and schedule out to His tent, to meet with Him. And, like in His relationship with Moses, if led to promised places of grandeur, would we desire the blessing of the new adventure only or would we plead with God to stay near us? I pray we would follow Moses' example.

Moses knew God would successfully allow them to settle in this land of promise, no doubt. But, Moses did not want to go without God. It was not enough to receive the blessing, it was more to stay tethered to his Redeemer, his Rescuer, his best friend.

We can question whether God is near only to realize our lack of effort in going to meet Him. Truly, it is so simple. Through Jesus, we have automatic and immediate access to bend God's ear. Our imagination runs wild with this story's picture, thinking about sitting with very God and while the image is grand, it is for us, for today. In this moment, we can sit with God because of what Jesus has done. The greatest sacrifice made a way and yet, we can be stubborn and rebellious, refusing to take a little effort to close the book, turn off the TV, set down the phone, and meet face-to-face.

The most miraculous part of this whole story is how a little effort was all it took to ensure God would in fact stay with His people. Moses first took the time to meet with God...and then He asked of God. He simply inquired of His best friend; our Heavenly Father. "God, will you go with?" And in the true nature of God, a humble petition yielded a compassionate response.

"The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Exodus 11:14

Yes, we can feel like a raft bobbing on open waters, living fast and furious with a divided heart and maybe not even knowing it. We wonder how near God is, and yet are promised that drawing near to our Father like Moses will always yield His closeness.

"Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world."

James 4:8

Your Fellow Able Mom,

Amanda Florczykowski

Father, I pray you come close to me today. So close, I can feel you in a most tangible way. I come before you, humbly, asking to meet you in this place and seeking your friendship face-to-face. Build this into my heart and deepen our friendship Father. Allow me to model this for my children. I love you.

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