Sometimes we put others high upon a shelf… like fancy antiques… elevating them far above what is appropriate, thinking more highly of them than we ought. I mean, after all, we all have our flaws. Or, we might set them up high, putting a little distance between us… thinking we can just admire them while we go on about our way, doing things without their input or assistance. Like we do with God sometimes…
I know I fail at times to look first to God for answers in facing life’s problems. I do revere the Lord, but when I set Him high up on that shelf by thinking I can handle things all on my own, I soon learn that I really can’t function all on my own. Sometimes, it seems it’s in the difficult times that I draw nearer to the Lord and ask for His help. But the gracious God that He is, He keeps working through me… as He continues to draw me ever gently to His side… and I begin to realize the depth of what He’s been doing for me.
But, of course, I realize I can’t put God upon a shelf like a beautiful precious antique just to be admired, nor can I put Him in a box, limiting His infinite capacities to match our finite minds and expectations. Instead, God wants to walk with me and you every day… especially in the nitty gritty of life. He wants to hear my prayers, the pleas and praises of my heart. He wants to hear my voice just as much as I should want to listen for His still small voice within me… and then heed His voice. All of which reminds me of another favorite Scripture verse: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20 NIV).
It’s true - He really wants to be part of my every-day life! He wants to shine His light through me and you out into the world, as a witness for Him and all that He’s doing… that others might know His love. Despite my failings, or maybe because of them, others know my life is full of mistakes, just as we all manage to make mistakes. But it’s in my failings and recognition of them that I can look up to Jesus, the One who sacrificed His life for my soul, and realize that I can turn to Him. In confession, I can ask for forgiveness, and receive the blessing of overwhelming grace and mercy no matter what I might have done. And then show that same forgiveness to others around me.
He wants me to take Him off that high shelf and out of that box, and allow Him to walk by my side, through all of life’s ups and downs, asking for His guidance and wisdom, thanking and praising Him all throughout my day… no matter what I face.
High Upon A Shelf
by Linda A. Roorda
I set you up high, high upon a shelf
And bring you close when the needs arise
I shy away from seeking your face
Keeping my distance, safely I suppose.
You created time and all of this world
Why would You give an ear to my thoughts?
Or hear my voice, my pleas in the dark
When all creation is under Your eye?
How could I think You’d ever have time
For problems I face, trivial pursuits?
Why would You care, and why seek me out
What do I matter to someone like You?
Oh, but don’t you see how special you are!
How unique your heart, like no other soul.
I long to meet every day with you
To shorten the span, that gulf between us.
I’ve given you gifts, fruits of the spirit
Blessed you with wisdom, the heart’s hidden treasure
While tests that prove faith through life’s ups and downs
Are living out hope in My hand unseen.
I love you my child, and forever will
I’ve given My life that you might be free
Free under grace with mercy’s deep love
That My light may shine on the path you walk.
Yes Lord, I’ll bring You down from off the shelf
As You draw me near with welcoming arms
And with a glad heart I’ll kneel in worship
To thank and praise You, my Lord and my God.