God Is a Close Father
By Rick Warren
— September 11, 2010
"God did this so that men would ... reach out for him and find him, since he is not far from each one of us." Acts 17:27 (NIV)
"God is there. And He cares. He wants to meet your needs because He's caring, consistent, and He's close. That is such Good News!"
In Acts 17, Paul gave a sermon to the people in Athens. He said, "God doesn't live in a temple or a little house. He would be confined. He has chosen to live all around the world. God is everywhere." Why? As our verse today tells us, "God did this so that men would reach out for him and find him, since he is not far from each one of us." God is close, available, and accessible.
A lot of kids today grow up with absentee fathers. They are never home, always gone, never there for the important dates. Even when they are home they really aren't there. They're detached, reading a newspaper, watching television, or working. They may be physically there but they're not mentally and emotionally at home.
That's why it's important to remember three encouraging facts about the closeness of God:
1. God is never too busy for me.
Psalm 145:18 (NIV) says, "The Lord is near to all who call on him." He's never too busy to talk to me. When I want to pray to God, He's not there with a switchboard that's busy because of everyone praying: "The lines are busy at this time. Please try again." God has no problem processing everyone's prayer request at the same time, because He's God. He's always near. He never says, "Some other time."
2. God loves to meet my needs.
He's not annoyed by my request. "If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11 NIV) If you, being an imperfect father, know how to give good gifts to your kids, don't you think God, who is a perfect Father, knows how to give good gifts to you? He loves to meet my needs.
3. He is sympathetic to my hurts.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18 NLT) When you hurt, God hurts. When you grieve, God grieves. When you are brokenhearted, crushed and think you can't even get out of bed in the morning, God feels. You are never closer to God than when you are in pain.
God is there. And He cares. He wants to meet your needs because He's caring, consistent, and He's close. That is such Good News!