The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.
In 1978, a research helicopter was flying low over a remote forest in Siberia. As the pilot made his observations, he saw something he never expected to see. He saw a human settlement. And that’s how the outside world first learned of the Lykov family.
In the 1930s, Karp Lykov and his very young family traveled deep, deep into the Siberian Wilderness to escape the persecution of Joseph Stalin. They were still there in 1978. The Lykov family was so distant from civilization that the family knew nothing about television, the moon landing, or even about World War II.
None of us have ever experienced such physical separation for such a long period of time. Most of us, however, have felt distance of a different kind. Many factors can cause this different kind of felt distance. Perhaps I’ve said some things I never should have said. Perhaps I’ve left undone some things I should have done. Perhaps, for reasons unknown, others have kept me at arms’ length. Perhaps it’s a combination of all these factors and more. Whatever the cause, most of us know what it’s like to feel far away from others. Even more so, most of us know what it’s like to feel far away from God.
This is where Jesus enters the picture. So great is his love for you and me that the Son of God came here to walk among us. In fact, he became one of us. On our behalf, he demonstrated perfect faithfulness in every relationship. Then he carried our sins of unfaithfulness to the cross, where, in our place, he experienced the greatest isolation ever felt in all eternity. And after his death, to assure us that he is here and we are not alone, Jesus rose. Now, through faith in him, we possess his full forgiveness. And he is by our side.
By the way, in the Lykov home there was a well-read Bible. In Jesus’ eyes, they were not far away at all.
Lord Jesus, at those times when I feel far away from you, remind me through your word that I’m not. Amen.