Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Spirit With Spirit"

    Physical proximity does not necessarily ensure or enhance closeness of relationship.  Nor does it inevitably hinder it.  We can be lonely in a crowd, but filled with the sense of someone's nearness who may be thousands of miles away.

    "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country" (Proverbs 25:25).

    I'm often reminded of this when receiving correspondence of many of you whose faces I've never seen, but whose hearts seem very near in the words you write.  I count this as a rare gift from God, and a beautiful type of relationship with Him.  "Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (I Peter 1:7-8).  True relationship, even with those near to us physically, is a matter far more of heart than of sight.  Certainly, we love having loved ones near us, and the fullness of our bonds involves face to face communication.  Nevertheless, through grateful remembrance, prayer, and the numerous forms of contact available to us - from the "snailmail" created early in our history, to the instantaneous worldwide access made possible by cellphones, to the immediacy of text messaging - relationship is possible and can be even mentally and emotionally intimate without proximity.

     One day we shall see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face.  We rightly look forward to that time in the anticipation of those who "love His appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).  We will also see each other, including many loved ones whose faces we have never seen.  "So shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:17).  We also rightly look forward to that blessed fellowship and nearness. For now, we know Him in the heart, and we know many of each other in the same bond of spirit with spirit.  Let us give thanks for the means by which this is possible, and for those whose faces we never have seen, but whose hearts seem as near as our next breath.

"I have you in my heart."
(Philippians 1:7)

No comments: