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He is not far

In a delightful Russian tale, an aristocratic Count is expending his years under house-arrest in a once luxurious city hotel, when he is suddenly put in charge of looking after a six-year-old girl. A game of ‘hide the thimble’ is proposed. The Count goes first, and plays the game as you and I would, and the girl quickly finds it. Then it is her turn. By clever ruse, she hides the thimble in his coat pocket, and the Count cannot find it. He protests when the hiding place is revealed, but she claims the win.

Of course, the thimble could be found, if he would think of how to approach the problem differently. It is not an impossible scenario, just different. The story reminds me of Paul’s speech to the Athenians at Mars Hill. “He is not far from each one of us….. God wants us to reach out for him and find him”. Perhaps those who are struggling to find God need to use a different approach.

Jesus gave this same hint in that scene where his disciples had been fishing all night, but had caught nothing. “Throw your net on the right side of the boat,” he said, “and you will catch some.” And they did. Be encouraged if you are searching for God. The problem is not impossible. He is not far. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

DM 27th November 2021

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