Draw Near

…No more hugging…

…at least for now.

Standing in a driveway, four grown women, who usually spend Monday mornings praying together, were talking, standing at least six feet apart from one another. Since there were four, the circle was rather large on that back deck. This was truly not the normal way of convening for them. This, actually, was a rather spur of the moment meeting for a reason other than prayer, other than “officially” gathering. They were supporting a sister while she looked at a place where her family would be moving in a month or so. Glad tidings abounded along with questions to ask, prayers to be lifted up.

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27

We are together as one, yet when we are separate, we are still as one. In Christ Alone.

As time continues in COVID-19, keeping our distances is still very important for the safety of us all. I am a senior. Others have husbands, children and grandchildren. So it was important to be safe.

For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. Colossians 2:5

It is good to be together even when we are six feet apart for we can connect physically rather than virtually. Paul sent his support, wisdom, the Gospel to his brothers via mail and messenger. Today, we contact by phone, snail mail, email, and video conferencing when we cannot be physically together.

BUT…the sweet news I share is that we are never…no NEVER…far from Jesus. He calls us to be near to Him.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19

Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Drawing near is our part. He draws near and does not stand six feet away. He hugs us. He loves us with His everlasting love. I am so very grateful. One of my favorite Psalms is #91. These first verses show us the care and protection God gives to us. He covers us, giving us hiding. He protects us. The image of a fortress is strength and a refuge. I picture one of those old fortresses along a coastline somewhere with walls ten feet thick.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:1-4

Thank You, LORD, for You are mighty; You are the Almighty. You are the One Who is close to me at all times for I seek You in the daytime and I seek You in the nighttime. I do not need to find my way in the darkness any longer for You are right beside me, sometimes even carrying me. [Let me dwell in Your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings! Selah. For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name. Psalm 61:4-5]. Thank You, Father God, for You have heard my cry. You know that we, as individuals, need healing whether from COVID-19 and other physical illnesses, from hardened hearts towards You, from broken and torn relationships with others, from lives that have turned away from You. As individuals, as families, as nations, may we all turn back to You, our Creator, to the One Who gave us life. May this world realize that this emptiness we have without You can only be filled by You. Oh, Father God, may I seek Your face in all of my days no matter what my outer circumstances look like. You are all I desire. In Christ Alone, I pray. Amen.

James 4:8 – Daily Scriptures and Good Thoughts/The Unfolding of Thy Word

A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey


I recently wrote of ways a shepherd needs to care for his flock of sheep so that they would be content and enabled to lie down.  One such way was assuring that his sheep had food.  Pastures need to be fertile and lush.  God desired a rich and fertile land for His children as well.  He promised that.

“‘…and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’  Exodus 3:17



milk (as the richness of kine):— cheese, milk, sucking; abundance of the land, choicest, best part, abundance (of products of the land)



to be gummy; honey (from its stickiness); by analogy, syrup:—honey(-comb); a delicacy provided by nature

At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land.  And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.  And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.”  Numbers 13:25-27

This land was just as God promised, yet the doubt overcame all but two spies.

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel.  And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land.  If the LORD delights in us, He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.  Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”  Numbers 14:5-9

The children of Israel did not enter in at that time.

This beautiful land continued to be a promise of God’s.  He prepared the land that it would supply nourishment and a place to live when the time was right.

W. Phillip Keller writes:

“… green pastures are essential to success with sheep.  When lambs are maturing and the ewes need green, succulent feed for a heavy milk flow, there is no substitute for good pasturage.

“In the Scriptures, the picture portrayed of the Promised Land … was that of a “land flowing with milk and honey.”  Not only is this figurative language, but also essentially scientific terminology.  In agricultural terms we speak of a “milk flow” and “honey flow.”  By this we mean the peak season of spring and summer when pastures are at their most productive stages.  The livestock that feed on the forage and the bees that visit the blossoms are said to be producing a corresponding “flow” of milk or honey.  So a land flowing with milk and honey is a land of rich, green, luxuriant pastures.” **

God spoke of this land for His children, wanting the best for them.  He wanted to see them living in abundance…filled with joy, life, contentment, and love for one another.

God supplies this rich land and, as our Good Shepherd, He leads us into the land of milk and honey.

At the same time, though, we have a choice.  We can feed there and find peace and plenty.  Or we can go off on our own, feeding on dry ground, on poor, foraged pastures.

The Good Shepherd wants the very best for us.  It is His way or the other way.

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.  Matthew 21:43


For He remembered His holy promise,

and Abraham, His servant.

So He brought His people out with joy,

His chosen ones with singing.

 And He gave them the lands of the nations,

and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples’ toil,

that they might keep His statutes

and observe His laws.

Praise the Lord! 

Psalm 105:32-45


But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  James 3:17

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

LORD, may I, Your sheep, follow You into this beautiful pasture where the flow of Your riches is continual.  I can know peace and joy, love and kindness, gentleness and mercy there.  May I turn to You always so that I am being drawn to the fullness of Your grace and mercy all of the time.  As I shelter beneath the span of Your wings, I can come to know the essence of this richness, this vital and pure milk and honey because I am safe and near to You, my Shepherd.  Thank You, LORD, for being patient and loving with me, guiding me to Your readied pasture.  May I follow You always.  In the beautiful Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.




**  excerpt from “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”

Photo:  http://wallcoo.net/nature/land-photography/html/wallpaper20.html