His Nearness Is My Good by Dina Martin

In the beginning, my children heard music in my womb. Their Daddy would sing over my belly to them. He wanted to make sure they knew him when they came out. They came, he called, and they knew him. It did not stop there, because throughout their life music was always a part of us. I know they heard because I keep hearing the melody of their own songs and I still see them responding to his voice. Most of my family has an ear for music, except for Anna and I, we just love to listen. It dawned on me, as Anna and I passed through her 21st year together, that her special needs have become an integral part of the music in our home. Her presence is her voice and her spirit adds to our melody even though she has no words to offer back. It’s like I’m just now learning to hear the chords and understand the powerful effect of these Living Words and Songs. Often you will not know when it happens, but somehow what you have learned to embrace, suddenly embraces you. We discover the living symphony, this natural rhythm of life, when we stop resisting and start listening. Inconvenience becomes invitations to intimacy, hurts become habitations of healing, needs become His Nearness and our Good.

How did this happen? When did the repetition of doing the same thing over a thousand times become like the melody of a song?

G.K. Chesterton says, “Children want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’…(It is) grown-up people (who) are not strong enough to exult in monotony But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon…The repetition in nature may not be mere
recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.”

I think I’ve realized something about those things that are always with us: the monotonous duties that greet us each morning, the conflicts, and inconveniences that do not ask our permission but barge in anyway. They are my Daddy’s voice coming in whispers that I often times do not understand. I’m sure my un-born children were just hearing sounds at first, but in time those sounds became a person, and then the music became personal. I believe in many ways our response to the “sounds” (ie struggles) in our lives show just how personal our Heavenly Father has become to us.

There is a difference in doing something because it is the right thing to do and doing it from a heart overflowing. One gives only the
appearance of good; the other has the powerful affect of good. No one had to tell us to sing, singing was like breathing to us. This goes for any area where we long for righteousness, peace, and joy to reign in our homes. Our children will know the difference! They will see whether submission to my husband is out of performance (ie the right thing to do) or the true overflow of life in me. They will see my devotion by the fruit of a thankful heart. This does not mean that it is always easy. Anna at 21 years old is a lovely young lady that still needs my assistance in many basic areas of her life. Anna and I became one heart and one mind as the revelation of her weakness brought me nearer to my Heavenly Father. My weaknesses have become my “calling card” to His strength. I’ve noticed something as I draw near to HIM, the distant sounds that I had been hearing all along started making more sense. He was becoming much more personal to me. I hear Him a lot clearer, when I draw near.

Many are sadly content to live their Christian lives on the distant sounds,others fill their lives with such noise that they can not hear
what the Father is saying.They have falsely comforted themselves in“good doings” instead of the overflow that comes from being close to their Father’s heart,having only a form of godliness without the power thereof.One thing that has not changed in Anna’s years with me is that she still likes to get as close as I will let her. Face to face, cheek to cheek, in my lap if I will let her. She offers no words, but she loves to hear up close. We have a very personal relationship and sometimes no words are needed. There are times in our walk with the Father, during some of our deepest struggles, that no words are needed. His presence is enough.

We have older children now, and as I look back on the most subtle and powerful “worldly” effects on my home, they would not be as obvious as you might think.They would be the little things that kept us from hearing His voice and His songs being sung to us, those distractions sent to keep us from drawing near. At some point in our children’s lives, if this relationship is not learned by them, everything that their Heavenly Father seeks to use to teach them will be misinterpreted. F.W. Webster expresses this so well : “The disciples thought that that angry sea separated themfrom Jesus. Nay, some of them thought worse than that; they thought that the trouble that had come upon them was a sign that Jesus had forgotten all about them, and did not care for them. Oh, dear friend, that is when troubles have a sting, when the devil whispers, “God has forgotten you; God has forsaken you”, when your unbelieving heart cries as Gideoncried, “If the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?” The evil has come upon you to bring the Lord nearer to you. The evil has not come upon you to separate you from Jesus,but to make you cling to Him more faithfully,more tenaciously, more simply.

Our natural tendency is to stay on the outside rather than drawing near, because His light always shines on the darkness within us. It is a tactic of the enemy to make us shun dealing with our sin. We are much more apt to see it in someone else than to look within(because satan helps us see others faults clearly). The defining moments in our lives have been how we have responded to trials, sufferings, and discipline. Unborn children hear sound with little understanding, as children grow up they begin to understand more fully what sin does to a relationship. Learning not to excuse ourselves, but to look fully into the mirror of His Word and recognize we are the problem is the sign of maturity. This has been the Holy ground of my daily walk with the common, unchanging events that call out, “Do you hear what I’m saying?” “Are you seeking wisdom as treasure?” “Will you come, when I call?”

We all desire an overcoming life, but do we understand the price? Our response to difficulty will tell whether we do. The violin will not share its beauty until the strings are straining.

Oswald Chambers states it this way, “God does not give us overcoming life; he gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for to-morrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute.

Father, grant us ears to hear Your voice. We want to get up close, and hear Your heart and grow in Your love, as a clear testimony for
Your Name Sake. We receive all that You give, to teach us to draw near, because Your nearness is our Good.

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