Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3605

Jump Start # 3605

Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

  We continue with lessons from our recent trip to France.

  When we first arrived in Paris and were being taken to our hotel we encountered a massive road block. Roads were closed with large metal barricades. Armed, I mean armed with machine guns, soldiers lined the streets. An armada of black SUVs, ambulances, and police were everywhere. Our driver was stopped. He pleaded with the security teams to let us approach the hotel. That wasn’t happening. So, we had to get out with our luggage, walk around the block and plead our case to another set of security teams, before they allowed us to walk to our hotel.

  We got in to the hotel and were told that President Biden, along with the Ukraine president, the president of France and Italy were staying across the street from our hotel. We had to get a special paper from the hotel that allowed us to walk out and reenter. It remained that way for several days.

  We walked past several American secret service guards. They don’t smile. They have their eyes on you all the time. Armed military men walked down city streets, just patrolling. We never got to see any of the world leaders. They were rushed in SUVs with dark windows and had special entrances which no one had any access to. The locals didn’t like how all the traffic was being diverted and how hard it was to get to some places. We teased some about trading presidents, and I think everyone was happy to see them all go their separate ways back home.

  About the second day into all of this chaotic mess, I thought about Jesus coming to earth. He was more than a world leader, He was God on earth. He did more than rule a nation, He ruled the world. Daniel reminds us that God removes kings and Biblical history shows God using nations to accomplish His divine will.

  But, what a contrast. If I even tried to approach the hotel across the street where the presidents were, I’d been tased, shot and if I survived, I’d be spending the rest of my life in some prison, either here or there. They were unapproachable. They were sheltered. No one could talk to them. No one could see them. The layers of security, from national, to international was so thick that someone like me could never approach any of them.

  Our Lord was not like that. God on earth, and the crowds surrounded Him. God on earth and uncommon and even unacceptable people, like a Gentile woman, or a tax collector, could have a conversation with Him. Judas kissed Him. The woman with the issue of blood touched His garment. The blind felt His hands upon their faces. Children were allowed to be with Him. His critics could accuse Him face to face. His feet were washed by the tears of a woman with a bad reputation. He offered Thomas the opportunity to touch His wounds. He answered their questions. He taught them. He was with them. God on earth.

I wondered that night what Jesus would have done if He was staying in that hotel across the street from me. I expect, He’d gather all the security teams around Him, assure them that all was fine and then send them home. I could see Jesus walking across the street to talk to me. None of the world leaders did that, but God would have.

  Now, some thoughts from this:

  First, you have access to the greatest being anywhere—the Lord of Heaven and earth. There is not a place you cannot reach God. The Bible shows this. From within the belly of a fish, Jonah’s prayers reached God. From prisons, Paul’s prayers were heard by God. In foreign lands, prayers like Daniel’s, reached God. While being executed, Stephen’s prayers were heard.

  I prayed to God while flying across the ocean. You can pray to God as you are being rolled down a hallway heading to surgery. You can pray to God in a school classroom, even though public prayer is not allowed. You can pray to God while you drive. Anywhere and anytime, you can pray to God. The Lord is approachable.

  Second, before you even approach God, He knows you. He knows your story. He knows your situation. He knows what you need. Had I even been able to say “Hi,” to our President, he’d probably say, “What’s your name and where are you from?” Not God. He knows. And, although others may not know what you are journeying through, God does. While others may not understand what it is like to be afraid, alone, discouraged, depressed, unsure, God is aware.

  But, there’s more to this than simply knowing. Not only does God know, but God can do something. The God who can part seas, remove kings, send rain and make demons flee, can help you. He can open doors that have been declared closed. He can touch hearts that no one can reach. He can find a way when others give up.

  And, not only does God know about you and not only can God do something for you, standing upon all of this is the principle that God loves you. He loves you before you understood Him. He loves you before you loved Him. He loves you when you weren’t very loveable. That’s our God.

  As we head into another election season, let us remember that our hope is not in the White House, but in Heaven. Our loyalty is not following a donkey or an elephant, but the Lamb of God.

  What a treasure, what a blessing we have that YOU can reach God. You.

  So much to thank Him for. So many hurts and needs. So many that need to find Him. Pray. Pray without ceasing. In everything, give thanks.

  What a blessing. Paul told the Philippians, “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” He is just a prayer away.