Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pressing In

The last time Diane and I were in Israel, our guide took us down the Rabbinical Tunnel, an excavation that follows the Temple Mount below ground. We followed the massive foundation stones that had been laid until we came to the place where they were laid on bedrock. As our guide explained what we were seeing, Diane and I leaned up against the Jerusalem limestone to listen. Rather shortly Diane leaned over and picked something up, and began making furtive movements on the wall. When I asked what she was doing, she showed me a piece of the foundation stone that had broken off when she leaned against it.  Since it WAS already broken and certainly destined to be swept up, I told her: "Give that to ME!" A couple of weeks back I was sharing with our folks how Jesus had responded to the Pharisees that if He were to restrain His disciples, the rocks would cry out! Thought I'd show them one of the rocks, you know.
   It had been a long time since I had touched that rock, and it brought back a flood of memories. Earlier that same day, we had visited the Western Wall. I remember thinking how these very rocks, holding up the Temple, had experienced the Shekina glory of God when He would meet with the High Priest in the Holy of Holies. I remember pressing my face up against those rocks, thinking about God's glory playing over this place, just allowing that thought to draw me closer to Him. Just then a young Hebrew tried to make conversation with me. I held up a hand to wave him off, but the moment had passed. He wanted a donation for some group or other, and I regretted that he had interrupted what was for me a very holy moment, but it had been done.
   I've often wished that young fellow hadn't interrupted what God was doing right then. Upon further thought, though, I've had plenty of intimate times with God in the intervening time. I know there's nothing special about the side of my face pressed into a rock. But there is something VERY special about pressing into God.  That can be done at any place, at any time, under any circumstances. No special scene is required, the setting is the human heart. We all have a capacity to seek after God, to make Him our goal, and to press into His reality, pushing every other thought aside.
   God calls out to us, to hunger and thirst after Him alone, and He gives us the ability to draw near. There's no reason to live without the closeness of our God, All that it requires is that we press in to God, seek His holiness, swim in His love.  He's more than willing to receive us, and in Jesus He has made the Way Press In!

1 comment: