The other day I unexpectedly ran into a friend I hadn’t seen for a long time and we only had about five minutes to chat. We talked briefly about work and family and then the topic of faith came up. My friend said that his relationship with God had become a bit cold and distant of late and he seemed forlorn and disheartened about it.
I felt bad for him. I’ve been there. That is a tough and discouraging place to be. You feel like a failure, and the way back to God seems too complex and too costly.
I wanted to help my friend, and my mind immediately went to James 4:8,
𝑫𝒓𝒂𝒘 𝒏𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒕𝒐 𝑮𝒐𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑯𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒅𝒓𝒂𝒘 𝒏𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒕𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖. (ESV)
I shared the verse with him and he paused a moment and then asked, “Is it really that simple?”
And suddenly our five minutes were up.
If there had been more time I would have shared with him about the loving Father that eagerly stands on the road waiting and watching for the prodigal’s return. (Luke 15) I would have reminded him that God is faithful, even when we aren’t. (2 Tim. 2:13) And I would have assured him that Jesus doesn’t ever give up on us—He is ever knocking at our heart’s door. (Rev. 3:20)
As we parted, I told my friend that I would be praying for him and I encouraged him to read his Bible and call upon the Lord in prayer. I said, “Start there—draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Thanks to Jesus, it really is that simple.