Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 2, 2015

In His Nearness

Siem Reap, Cambodia

One of the things I admire most about Jesus is that He moved in the direction of people in need. He cared deeply about the disenfranchised and the desperate as well as those whose lives were marked by disease and utter desperation. Jesus moved in the direction of people in need in order to do something to help.

If we want to become more like Jesus, then we must learn to move in the direction of people in need. We must close the gap that separates us from those in desperate situations and offer them the healing balm of grace and truth. Demonstrating kindness is one way to show people in need that God loves them, believes in them, and has not forgotten them.

Our team of volunteers arrived in Siem Reap late last night. We are here to invest in women and children and to alleviate some suffering by offering a free dental clinic to the poor of Poipet, a town on the western frontier of Cambodia and a hotspot of human trafficking. We moved in the direction of those in need in Cambodia to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

On the long flight over I had plenty of time to disconnect from media, to rest, and also to reflect on Jesus. As I meditated on the movement of His life toward those in need, I also reflected on how those in need moved in the direction of Jesus. Whether a leper, a blind man, a father desperately seeking help for an ailing child, or the multitudes who were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36) — the Gospel accounts reveal that hurting people moved in the direction of Jesus. They wanted to be near Him.

Let me write those words again — those who were hurting and in need wanted to be near Jesus. What a beautiful thought. There are things that can only be found in His nearness. Those in despair can expect to find peace in His nearness. Those who are broken can find the healing and help they need in His nearness. Those who don’t know which way to turn can find direction in His nearness. Only those who draw near to Him will truly understand the depth of who He is and how much He loves and cares for us.

Inside Your Hug
A friend who survived Stage 4 breast cancer recently told me that she learned that when things were the darkest is when she knew she was the closest to Jesus. “He drew me into the safety of the shadow of His wings,” she said, “and I learned that the darkest place was also the safest because that is when I knew I was completely enveloped by His wings.” She found comfort in His nearness.

As we move in the direction of those in need in Jesus’ name over the coming week, my prayer is that those in need will move in the direction of Jesus and find in Him what they are longing for — that which can only be found in His nearness.

I love what Ravi Zacharias, the renowned Christian apologist, wrote about coming to Jesus. He found something in His nearness that he could find in none other than Jesus.

“I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I have remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny.”

I choose to draw near and to stay near to Jesus. I am determined, weak and human as I am, to so live like Jesus that those in need will move in my direction. And when they do, I want to be His hands and feet and to compassionately care for them as Jesus would. I invite you to join me on this journey of discovering the beauty found only in His nearness.


Responses

  1. Thank you for this beautiful thought. May He draw near to you as well.
    Megan

  2. Dear Omar,

    I loved this post! I trust and pray that you and the team have had a blessed week.

    Anne

    *From:* Go Beyond [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Monday, February 02, 2015 8:28 PM *To:* anne@lifeinternational.com *Subject:* [New post] In His Nearness

    Omar C. Garcia posted: “Siem Reap, Cambodia One of the things I admire most about Jesus is that He moved in the direction of people in need. He cared deeply about the disenfranchised and the desperate as well as those whose lives were marked by disease and utter desperation. “

    • Thanks, Anne. We have had a fantastic week with the women. It’s great to see the Hope Center bustling with ministry.


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