Come and sit next to me

“Come and sit next to me”

That’s what I say to my teenaged children when I need them to calm down and just talk through something. When they are so overwhelmed by a situation, or their emotions are reeling out of control. I know that if I can get them to sit still and talk to me for a few minutes, things will be better or decisions won’t be so hard. When I see our featured verse for today, this is exactly what I think of.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

I can just see Him watching me as I move further and further from His will, calling for me to ‘come sit with Him for a while’. Or the times when I am so flustered with the pressures of life (or just the day!), I can see Him saying, “come here and sit with me…let’s talk”.

But just like my teenagers, there are times that I rebel and move in the opposite direction. I remember the early years of my walk with Christ. It was after I graduated from High School and had left home to establish my career in the entertainment industry as a singer. While in High School, I was kept close to God by a tight knit youth group at my church, but now I was far from home, working on a cruise ship where there was no church family to bond with. My circle of influence was driven by things of the world and it wasn’t long before I was drawn into their world view.

God became less and less a part of who I was, and while my salvation was secure, my relationship with my savior was not. During this time, I was abusing the gift of singing my Father had given to me. I was singing hard and loud without any vocal coaching or disciplined vocalization on my own. This was causing great wear and tear on my vocal chords, unbeknownst to me. At one point, my gift was so abused that I lost my ability altogether. This forced me to return home where I could get the physical healing I needed to get back on the career path I had chosen for myself.

I came home for a physical healing, but God brought me home for a spiritual healing.

Anyone who has raised a teenager or young adult knows that sometimes they just won’t ‘come and sit next to you’ for that much needed chat. As parents, when that moment arrives, we know it is time for lessons learned the hard way. I call it ‘consequential parenting’. This is how God was working in my life. He used my rebellion that He knew would have ‘consequences’, but would also drive me back home. So while I began pursuing all the physical support I needed to heal my voice, God began surrounding me with all the spiritual support I needed to heal my soul.

My husband, Darius, was part of the support the Lord surrounded me with. During our dating period, Darius got me back into the church. Within 3 months we were engaged and 3 months later we were married. I look back and see God’s hand all over that. You see, while I was drawing closer to God at this time, I was still determined to pursue the career I had chosen for myself. I remember telling my husband that we could make this marriage work with me being gone 3 months at sea and home 3 months. (I’m wondering now why I am so surprised by my teenage daughter’s head strong ways!)

But our key verse today doesn’t say “draw near to God and He’ll be waiting for you when you finally get there.” I praise His name that it is not that way at all! It says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” My God, the God of the universe draws near to me as I draw near to Him.

As I was being brought back into fellowship with my savior, God was working in my life to make sure the gap between us closed faster than it would if it was all up to me at my pace. Knowing the plans He had for me, God redirected my path with one more little surprise…the conception of our first child! Now I was forced to come and sit down.

Looking back, I see how God used the following years to draw me closer and closer to Him. I’m so glad that as I drew near to God during those rebellious years, He drew near to me.

What about you? Is God asking you to come and sit next to Him? Are you making plans without seeking His will? Maybe you are emotionally distraught and you just need to calm down by sitting next to Him and having a chat.

As we have discussed beginning our day at the table with our Father, so too we should carry this image of stopping often to sit and chat. I like to think of them as little coffee breaks during the day. When I take the time to sit down and enjoy a quick cup of coffee instead of consuming it as I run from place to place, the affect is so much sweeter. Those 5 minutes sitting at the table, enjoying the moment give me the pick me up needed for the rest of the day. It’s like that for me when I stop and sit with my Father. Instead of tossing out a quick plea for help as I run around trying to ‘fix it’ myself, I try to remember to stop and sit with Him just for a minute.

So pull up the chair that is always there for you.
Tell Him your frustrations; ask Him about your plans;
draw near to Him and see how near He draws to you.

Our recipe today is to Come Sit Next to Me.
The ingredients are from James 4:8.
The directions are to learn to listen for God calling you to ‘come and sit with Him’. Pull up a chair during the day and draw near to Him as He draws near to you.

How can you apply this to your daily life? Ask God to show you anything in your life that is taking you away from His plans for you and journal what you hear as you sit and chat with Him today.

CLICK HERE for a printable version of today's recipe for the soul. Make notes on it of how God is speaking to you today, and carry it with you to feed your soul as needed.

Father, hear my cries and rain down Your word on me. I come to You parched and needing a long drink from Your living word. Teach me to recognize the things I turn to when my soul is thirsty; things that fill the place Your word belongs. Give me a desire to turn to You first, Lord. I spread my hands out to You and I find great joy in receiving Your living word into my life today.

Printable recipe card for easy reference as you walk with the Lord each day.
Print and cut to recipe card size.  Write what God has laid on your heart and refer to frequently as you memorize the word and apply the lesson. 

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