Too Close for Comfort
Isaiah 55:6: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.
I don’t know if you’re claustrophobic or not. When someone asks me if I am, I say, “It depends.” And it does.
I’m claustrophobic when I’m in a crowded elevator. You know the drill in that case: stand as stiff as a ram rod, don’t touch anyone and, while your nerves are screaming for just a little room to breathe, YOU CAN’T LOOK AT ANYONE and so you ended up staring at the ceiling. When the door blessedly slides open, the enforced crowding ends, with people quickly scattering in all directions like those hombres who run with the bulls in Pamploma.
When telephone booths walked the earth, I couldn’t stand using one with the door closed. No matter the weather, I chatted through storms and hurricanes. Sure, I got wet or froze, but it was better than a panic attack.
When we were in New York once, we went to see a production of Mary Poppins in an ancient theater with seats suitable for Munchkins. I endured the closing in feeling until intermission when I knew I had to get out. I was having the beginnings of a panic attack and spent the rest of the musical across the street from the theater in a café, drinking caffeinated coffee to calm my nerves. And it worked.
Two places in which I don’t mind being in a small space are in a budget airline seat and during an MRI. I couldn’t figure this since these places are certifiably tight until a friend told me something I’d missed with the airplane and the MRI. Both of these have outlets which blow air in the passenger’s or patient’s face. For some reason this quiets the urge to panic. It’s too bad they haven’t discovered this on Broadway, although it might make it difficult to pay attention to the musical.
The point is that God is like that stream of fresh air. God invites us to be in God’s presence and suffuses through the inmost part of our being. And as a result, we are revived, sanctified, calmed and encouraged.
Praise God for drawing near to us, for offering us strength and new life and for sending his Son to die on a cross so that we might have eternal life and nothing to worry about.