Sometimes he fit both of us in his chair (with a shotgun behind it for my boyfriends) :)

When I was growing up, my father worked at difficult jobs. These included heavy equipment operator at a lumber mill (Weyerhaeuser in Bly), and helping to build the railroad by Chiloquin (laying ties). He left early in the mornings, and arrived home just in time for dinner, usually exhausted.

After dinner, we would all settle into the living room and watch television. This was before the time of television remotes, so my brother and I were the remotes.  There were only two channels (channel 2 and sometimes 10), so it wasn't a very tough job.  My dad had his recliner, my mom had her couch, and my brother and I often lounged and played on the floor. We were separate but together, content, and all was right with the world.

Image caption: Sometimes he would even fit both of us in his chair
Every now and then, we could entice my dad to wrestle with us. I’ll never forget both the thrill and the terror of my Dad’s strong hands catching me by the ankle, dragging me back as I laughed and squealed. 

But most of the time, my tired dad simply lounged in his chair, sometimes falling asleep there. And from time to time, I would crawl into his chair with him, just for a little snuggle. He always scooted over so I could fit right in there beside him. I’d stay until I got too hot, and then off I’d go. I would continue crawling into his chair with him late into my teen years. The fit got a little tighter, but my Dad and his recliner were always a safe, welcoming  place.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... (James 4:8, NKJV)

Have you ever felt like you were just outside of God’s presence? As if you were not doing enough “drawing near” to Him to warrant a response. Maybe you are not reading your bible on the daily, or spending much time in prayer, attending church, or contemplating deep truths in solitude. Maybe your life looks more like hustling and surviving than “drawing near” to Him. Do you have the feeling that He’s far away, and you’re not doing that thing you should be doing to bring Him closer?
I guess it all comes back to what our concept of God is. Is He an absent father that must be chased after through works and effort? The impatient kind of Dad who leaves the room, expecting you to somehow figure out which door He is hiding behind?  Or is He the kind of father my Dad was and is- always there, always ready to make room for a snuggle?

Our concept of God can be a life-giving one: true to the bible, a Father full of love and compassion, attentive to our needs. Or it can be a life-draining one: where we fear disapproval, rejection, judgment, distance and being a disappointment.  We have to be very careful about who we believe God is- it impacts our bodily, mental, and spiritual health.
The message of Jesus was full access, full approval, full love, full attention, all Dad, for all time.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)

So what's the best way to get God's attention? I'm telling you, you already have it. He's right there with you. You can lean in for a snuggle (draw near), or lounge around on the floor. He's still there in the room with you. Today. In this moment. Always.

Here’s how to snuggle: acknowledge God is right there beside you, loving you.


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