It is very difficult to maintain long-distance relationships, and I certainly did not go into one a few months ago thinking that it would be easy.
Even though it did not work out in the end, looking back on it now, I see the stresses and strains which it had put me under—the hours of driving up and down the motorway to meet her, the pressure of making every moment count when we were together … I could go on, but the bottom line is that it required a huge amount of effort to keep the relationship going, simply because we were so far away from each other.
This has taught me a valuable lesson, not that I should never consider entering such a relationship again (although I would certainly think twice!), but about the value of closeness in general. It is so much easier to maintain any kind of relationship, be it with friends or family, when you are able to spend quality time together.
But whilst this lesson may be valuable, it is also potentially uncomfortable. It leads me to consider my relationship with God. How close am I to Him? How much time do I spend in His presence? How often do I talk to Him? I suspect that the answer to these questions is “not enough”, and I do not particularly like that answer.
In our relationships with people, it would be relatively easy to at least partially pass the buck. I mean, surely my girlfriend could have moved closer to me (just as I could have moved closer to her)! But yes, there would have been limitations like the immobility of jobs and houses, but apart from these, there would also be the question of who was going to make that move.
It is the same with God. As the old and oft-repeated adage goes, “If you feel far away from God, who moved?” Like the prodigal son, we have left Him and now the only way for us to return to God is to make that move ourselves because He is longing to receive us, just like the father in the Prodigal Son parable. Again there will be barriers that may hinder us from returning to Him, only this time they involve our attitudes such as pride and stubbornness. However, we must overcome these barriers by humbling ourselves so that we may enjoy a closer relationship with God.
Like I have said at the start, it is very difficult to maintain long-distance relationships. Don’t be in a long-distance relationship with God, move closer! And our heavenly Father will surely be there to welcome us into His wide, open arms.
“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”(Luke 15:20 NIV)
Written By Alan Humphrey for YMI