I had the opportunity to speak with amazing women recently. One of them really stuck out to me because though she holds many roles, I’d never spoken to someone with one of the particular roles she has. A pastor’s wife.
I thought about it and realized that I’d never been close enough. I’d never been high enough in leadership to have brunch or a heart to heart with the pastor’s wife–out of all the churches I’d attended. I loved that we were able to share as sisters in Christ.
There was transparency, a refreshing flow of the Spirit of God, and dare I say; the seeds of friendship. I love that I didn’t need to be “close enough” because honestly when we connected I couldn’t have been any ‘further away. ‘ We’ve never met and I had yet to establish any credibility or anything of the sort.
I don’t want people to feel they aren’t close enough to talk to me.
Sometimes people have questions, worries, prayer requests, or even need someone to talk to; but because we haven’t spoken in years–they watch my life from a distance. Or perhaps it’s because they aren’t Christian or don’t have what they deem to be enough of a ‘relationship’ with me to have earned my time. I know how that feels. However, I’d rather encourage someone I barely know than have them be too ‘respectful’ to ask for the help they need. It’s a loss for both of us that way. (Besides I could always use more good friends.)
One thing I love about Jesus is that He’s as close as we allow Him to be. We don’t have to search far and wide, we don’t have to complete emotional obstacle courses, and we don’t even have to have a clean mind or heart. We just need to draw near however we can manage to do so.
We just need a willing heart. An internal prayer that says, “hey God, I’m done running. I’m ready to come have an audience with you.”
I love the story of Zacchaeus because it’s a beautiful demonstration of this. He’s a wealthy man who’s lived life his own way. He didn’t have a good and generous reputation among society because of his role as a manipulative tax collector.
He hears that Jesus is nearby and runs up a tree hoping to just catch a glimpse of the miracle-working man he’s heard so much about.
We pick the story up in the book of Luke.
“A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.””
Luke 19:2, 4-7 NIV
He’s so humbled and excited to be accepted in the presence of Jesus, he publicly transforms his ways!
“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.””
Luke 19:8-10 NIV
So if you’re reading this and you ever need someone to talk to or pray with, please don’t hesitate to reach out here, on social media, or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Most importantly, there’s nothing you’ve done that God hasn’t seen before or that He isn’t already aware of. Sometimes we are afraid of coming to God broken and messy. We are afraid of what he will say. We are afraid of being rejected. We are afraid of not getting the help we need or ending up worse than before. I know I was.
I believe when you’re ready to confess and open up to God, he’ll rejoice. I believe you’ll feel him welcome you with open arms and say “salvation has come”. What a beautiful thing to have a perfect God as our loving Father and savior.