June 5: Come Unto Me
If you do not already feel that God’s words, “Come unto Me,” are the most precious, comforting, thrilling words you could ever hear, then think about the alternative. Think about what He will say to those who have not responded to this gracious invitation. Imagine, for one ghastly moment, what it would be like to hear, “Depart from Me,” and to realize that means forever—endlessly apart from God, apart from good, apart from comfort, solace, light, peace, and love.
Now, once more, imagine. Imagine standing before the throne, knowing your sinfulness in ways you have never understood it before, as it is awash in His holy light, yet hearing the blessed words, “You have been forgiven. Your name is in My book. Come unto Me.” The bliss! The wonder! The relief! The joy! The marvelous amazement of realizing that You are fully known and yet still fully loved. Fully pardoned. Fully received!
On that day, there will be no middle ground. It will be “come unto Me” or “depart from Me.” Thinking about that will actually make His daily invitations to come to Him more precious. When we realize its ultimate importance, we will not take its sweetness, its urgency, it privilege, its poignancy lightly. Nor will we proclaim it lightly.
In the Garden of Eden, after God already knew they’d sinned, He called out, “Where are you, Adam?” Even knowing the devastation and the cost far more than they—knowing what it would cost Him, personally—He was still drawing them to Himself. Yes, to confront their sin, but also to promise redemption. Yes, to explain consequences, but also to provide a covering. To this He bids us come. No matter what mess we have gotten ourselves into, no matter how many people would point their fingers at you (and since there were only two of them then, they each could truly say, “everyone is against me!”), He says, “Come unto me.”
There’s no time we cannot come. There is no time when we dare not come. When we need comfort, no one knows our sorrows like He does. No one knows the ache in our hearts, the betrayal we might feel, the abandonment, the loss like He does. He understands our shame because He bore it. He bids us come to Him for solace, compassion, protection, forgiveness.
He calls us to come to Him when we suffer, no matter if it is physically, financially, emotionally. He knows what it is like to be in agony, to be exhausted, to be poor and homeless, and to experience anguish of spirit. He doesn’t just understand this, He invites us to fellowship with Him in the midst of it (Philippians 3:10).
He doesn’t just want to give us compassion, but also His power and presence to bring us through our struggles. How often have we agonized for a loved one but felt powerless to actually do anything to help them? That’s not what it is like for Him. He invites us to come because He can do something. He can give us the strength to bear it, the comfort to heal it, the power to change it, and the certain knowledge that we do not face it alone.
Each day He whispers, “Come unto Me.” We need to hear that and to heed that. We need to draw near because, while we don’t know what we will be facing each day, He does. What temptations would we resist in our lives if only we would respond to His call to come to Him? What storms could we weather with peace if we only drawn near to Him? What attacks of the enemy would we be shielded from under the shadow of His wings? What power would be ours to overcome? What wisdom would be ours to choose wisely and counsel others to do the same? All His abundance is ours when we respond to His call, “Come unto Me.”
We need to examine ourselves soberly and ask, “How responsive am I to His call to come unto Him?” In fact, ask Him how responsive He finds you.
- Do we put Him off until “later”?
- How often does “later” not happen?
- Does it ever occur to us Who it actually is we are putting off?
- What have we been missing when we don’t respond?
- We also seriously need to ponder, “If I don’t respond when He says, ‘Come unto Me’ now, can I really expect to hear ‘Come unto Me’ later?”
Beyond ourselves, we should pray for those who need to take His invitation seriously: those who need salvation, those who need His presence to face their storms, those who need His Lordship . . .
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries