and whoever comes to me I will never drive away John 6:37 (NIV)

There are times when I don’t feel up to approaching God; times when I don’t have the right words, times when my passion’s waned or I feel terribly unworthy. It’s at these times, especially when I’m feeling unworthy, that I need to remind myself that I go to the doctor, not when I’m well, but when I’m sick. Why do we make the clear things murky and the simple things complex? The Great Physician would never turn anyone away. Christ is there for me when I’m in need – and He’s there for you. This is God; when we doubt and need convincing, when we’re weak and need strength, when we sin and need forgiveness, when we’re foolish and need wisdom, and when we’re empty and need fullness – He’s there.

But maybe it’s not enough to know that God’s there for us. I know the doctor’s there for me, but I’m one of those men who generally don’t go to him until I’m virtually dying. Then again, even though my doctor’s a personal acquaintance, he doesn’t go out of his way to invite me to visit him. But God does. His Story’s full of invitations to draw near to Him. Listen as Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest . . .” (Matthew 11:28). So come . . . don’t let your hang-ups get in the way. Jesus will never drive you off (cf. John 6:37). Just come as you are . . . with all your baggage, no matter how much you’ve got or how tawdry it may look.

We all feel unworthy at times, all try to tough it out on our own, all go through periods when we struggle to approach God, and all have occasions when it’s difficult to come to Jesus. That’s why I thought it would be helpful to include this prayer:

Lord, help me remember, that You are with me in every time of perplexity to guide and to direct; that You are with me in every time of sorrow to comfort and console; that You are with me in every time of temptation to strengthen and to inspire; that You are with me in every time of loneliness to cheer and befriend; and that You will be with me even in death to bring me to Your side.

Lord, help me remember, that You are with me and will never drive me away. Amen.

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