God Is Near

Isaiah 55:1
Call on [God] now while He is near (v.6).

Last October, the world looked on—cheering and
crying and laughing with relief and joy—as 33
Chilean miners were plucked one by one from
their deep, cavernous prison. For more than 2 months,
these men hung on to hope and life a half-mile below
ground. The rescue teams preparing for the evacuation
had numerous concerns: Would the escape pod function
properly? Would the men experience hypertension as they
rose to the surface? Would they develop blood clots? The
primary concern, however, was panic attacks. “This is the
first time in many weeks that the miners are going to be
completely alone,” said Chile’s health minister.

We know what it feels like to be alone. Perhaps you’ve
been abandoned by a parent or friend. You may feel
lost. Even in a crowd, you feel isolated. God, however,
invites us into relationship, into friendship. “Come to
me,” God says (Isaiah 55:3). He invites us to come out of
isolation and embrace relationship with Him.

When we come to God, we’re always welcomed
with open arms. Unlike other relationships we’ve known,
God’s love isn’t based upon us meeting some expectation
or providing something for Him. He simply loves—
completely, entirely, without hesitation. God makes a
promise to His people, an “everlasting covenant . . .
[of] unfailing love” (v.3).

This everlasting covenant finds its ultimate expression in
Jesus, who came to us and brought God to us, along with His life and forgiveness.
We didn’t reach up to Him. In Jesus, God reached down to us. We didn’t come
near to Him. In Jesus, God came near to us.

“Seek the Lord while you can find Him,” Isaiah says. “Call on [God] now
while He is near” (v.6). The good news is that, in Jesus, “God is with us”
(Matthew 1:23).

—Winn Collier

Continue reading Isaiah 55:1. Note the paradox in verses 8-9. In what sense
is God far from us even though He’s near?

Where do you experience isolation and loneliness? How
does God’s invitation to experience His nearness
comfort you?

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