“Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:8a, NLT)
Funny but it did not specifically occur to me until today. I generally start each year with a similar approach to many people: I review my past year’s goals, and I set some new goals for the New Year. I don’t generally call them “New Year’s Resolutions.” It seems that in order for me to change it will be more of a revolution against my natural inclinations (my flesh) and not just a statement or a wish.
It seems that every year this process includes some act of drawing closer to the Lord. I may not state this in specific detail; but by arranging for reading of certain materials or more of a disciplined approach to reading scripture, I hope to understand God better and depend more upon Him. God is infinite, and so I can continue to draw near or closer as the New Living Translation presents it, and never get my fill of God. A pastor friend once shared that Heaven will be all about God revealing more and more of Himself to those of us in view of His Glory. This seems to reflect the thought that Jesus presented in John’s Gospel, Chapter 17: 3 – “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3 NASB). By extension, then, if we as saints of God are living eternally now, then the rest of our eternity will be drawing ever closer to God, as He reveals more and more and more of Himself to us.
OK, so what’s the point you may ask? Well today I was reading another redemption story. This one was about Beth Hart. I have never heard of Miss Hart (married to Scott Guetzkow) but after some early success on the show “Star Search” she developed a successful music career. But according to her bio (http://bethhart.com/bio.php) Beth began abusing alcohol and drugs, and soon she lost everything. With the help of her future husband Scott, she began attending AA meetings. She was told that it would take years to overcome her dependence, and fill in the holes in which she poured the drugs and booze. Beth had a great amount of support and was able to weather this long road to sobriety.
I don’t know much about this young woman, or about her faith if she even has one. But it does seem that since she worked through this difficult time in her life that the use of God and Jesus’s name and some rudimentary faith terms appeared more and more prominent in her lyrics. At one point Miss Hart wrote this:
“During the really tough times, I stopped writing. I was embarrassed to even go to that piano. Then I started feeling like I had done so much talking to God, that it would be cool to go back and do a little writing.” (http://memorials.drugfree.org/Intervention/Resources/Stories/Beth_Hart). It seems that Miss Hart drew close to God, and He drew close to her.
Now maybe her proximity and mine are different. But in her recovery Miss Hart said this: “I’m healthy, I can sing and hear and see, and I can love and be loved, and I can learn and grow – those are really God-given wonderful gifts. Counting my blessings, and giving thanks for them has been my number one tool of recovery (see reference above).” Beth Hart recognized the blessing of coming closer to God. How much closer will she come, and is she “there” yet? I think we are on the same road, with no end in sight.