I was around 13 when I plopped down on the couch next to my Dad, leaning hard against him while he read the newspaper. Ordinarily kind, fun- and pun-loving, my Dad that day reacted with irritation, telling me to give him some space. I knew he didn’t mean anything by it. But somehow it hurt my heart that he pulled away.

Telling a counselor about this incident nearly half a century later, I wondered if it was something that even needed to be told. But she wept for me — the vulnerable girl I was, expecting acceptance from the most important man in her life and experiencing rejection instead. As she and I talked, it helped heal the pain I have felt about that rejection over the years. 

Somehow this girlhood experience has become a symbol of the need I have to be right next to my heavenly Father, leaning hard against His shoulder, and the joy I have that He will never pull away. 

I love this verse in the Book of Psalms: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works” (Psalm 73:28). 

Truly the nearness of God is my good! Since I asked Jesus Christ to take control of my life, I have been amazed to experience:

His stunning comfort in times of distress.

His joy bubbling up inside me, sometimes even when I’m angry! 

His Word purifying the way I relate to people.

His peace when I thank Him in the midst of difficult things.

The rich unity of those who know Him. 

His forgiveness, again and again.

What a Savior!

Every parent fails at times (how well I know). But God has used my sweet Dad’s moment of irritation for good. I am who I am partly because of this seemingly small incident. My Dad wasn’t able to meet my needs, and no Dad, nor even my loving husband, would have been able to.

I needed unfailing love, and I found it in my heavenly Father. God’s nearness – walking closely with Him, hearing His voice through His Word, prayer, and godly people, leaning hard on Him day after day – is my good. I will always be grateful.

So, what about you? Are you near to Him, or far? 

If you are far, never having invited Christ into your life, I cannot suggest strongly enough that you do so. He longs for you to know Him and the utter joy and peace of His love and forgiveness. He wants to make your life all it was meant to be. Coming to know Him is like entering a new dimension. Don’t miss this amazing way to live your life on this earth.

The only alternative is to remain in sin and live life by your own self-effort, with the end result: separation from God forever. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Please, choose to experience His love for all of eternity.

You can trust Him to come into your life when you are willing to confess your sin and sincerely invite Him in. Here is a suggested way to invite Him in to be your Lord and Savior:

Dear Jesus, I need You. I am sorry for my sins. Thank You for dying on the cross in my place to pay for my sins. I believe in You, and I open my heart to receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life and make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Or, maybe you are far from Him because you have invited Christ into your life, but have allowed other things to take first place in your heart. You can pray:

Lord Jesus, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. (You may want to express your repentance for specific things here.) Thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I invite You to take first place in my life once again. Fill me again with Your Holy Spirit, as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray in Jesus’ name. As an expression of my faith, I thank You that according to Your Word, You are now directing my life and filling me with Your Holy Spirit.

(You can read the command in Ephesians 5:18 and the promise in 1 John 5:14,15.)

If you have prayed one of these prayers, I am excited for you! Please see the information below.

If you made a decision to ask Christ into your life or to turn your life back over to Him, here’s a site that will help you grow:

Starting With God — Grow in your relationship with Jesus – Foundational Truths for (New) Believers

If you would like to know more about Jesus before making a decision to invite Him into your life, please begin reading the Bible. An excellent place to start is the Gospel of John: John 1 NASB – The Deity of Jesus Christ – In the

You can also find helpful information here:

EveryPerson.com – A Safe Place to Explore Questions about Life and God

Would You Like to Know God Personally?

You can read the story of how I came to invite Christ into my life in How My Song Began.