Richard Weirich

When Distance Separates You from Those You Love

When Distance Separates You from Those You Love

But you, LORD, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.

Psalm 22:19

What a blessing to have my children and grandchildren living nearby. My loved ones are only thirty minutes away.

I have friends whose families are scattered across the country and beyond, and they seldom get to see one another. Modern conveniences like Skype and FaceTime help, but there’s nothing like seeing our loved ones in person.

For those in military service, distance separation can be a long and stressful reality. When I was in the Navy, I was stationed about 5,000  miles from home. That was before cellphones and internet. Remember payphones?

The mere presence of our loved ones gives us strength. In times of crisis, we want them close.

Several years ago, my wife battled cancer and, as a result, endured surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. But nothing the medical community had to offer lifted her spirits more than the presence of our granddaughter. When three-year-old Katie entered the room, fear and pain were replaced by comfort and joy.

During that same period, at the age of 59, I was fired from my radio job. Every morning, as I looked for a company willing to hire an older worker, Katie was by my side. Her effect on me and Janet can be likened to the old song, You are My Sunshine. Having her near not only lifted our burdens, but it gave us joy in the midst of sorrow.

Hopefully, God has blessed you with friends and family who have a similar effect on you. Such joy when they are near, but, oh, how we miss them when we’re apart.

As Christians, and as members of God’s forever family, we have a special relationship to the godhead. The source of all joy and the One with the capacity to help as no other is with us.

The Psalmist called upon this special relationship in our focus text. “But you, LORD, do not be far from me… Come quickly…”

Interestingly, Psalm 22 begins with the words Jesus spoke from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (see Matthew 27:46) I commend Psalm 22 to you for closer examination. It is a prophetic Psalm that foretells the suffering and death of Jesus in our stead. It depicts a man undergoing the ultimate crisis, the greatest tragedy, pleading for God to help him.

“Do not be far from me.” Which begs the question, where is God? Heaven? Sure. But even better, he is with you — and your loved ones in Christ — at this very moment.

When you gave your life to Christ, the godhead took up residence in you. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with you and in you at all times and in all places. God is with you wherever you are and ALWAYS accessible. He is near. He is here. And he has promised never to leave you or forsake you. He’s the one member of your family who will never be isolated or separated by distance.

There’s a night scene in Sleepless in Seattle where Meg Ryan, in New York, and Tom Hanks, in Seattle, are both staring at the moon. Separated by space but united by a common object. Imagine then your unique link to your loved ones through Christ. Sure you miss them, but you know that the God who cares for you — cares for them. He is with you — and them, bridging the gap of separation.

Paul closed his letter to the church at Ephesus with these words, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20)

When you pray for your loved ones, remember that God can do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine.

Take your concerns for family and friends to Him now. Look to God to do what you can’t to bridge the distance gap and provide the help you want to give them.

For more on this topic, check out this article: God Is Always There When You Need Him

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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