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Pulling Back

February 7, 2023
Pulling Back

“The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever” (Psalm 19:9a, NIV).

She has issues with chronic anxiety and depression, which are reasonable in her case, with a history of three different cancers and a family that rejected her. She is healthy today and was sharing with me her dependence on Jesus. “I just bring Him along with me. Sometimes I get so worried, and He comes in and just makes me feel warm and comfortable in spite of things.” She added, “Sometimes, though, I get too close to Him, and it scares me. I have to pull back.”

I hope most of us bring Jesus along with us through our day and know of times when His presence has brought us great comfort. “What a friend we have in Jesus.”

I wonder how many of us have let Jesus get so close that it scared us, scared us so much that we had to “pull back?”

I’ve experienced such overwhelming closeness only twice in my life; in those times, I came to understand the fear of the Lord.

It’s wonderful that Jesus calls us “friend.” It’s awesome that God comes to live in our hearts as Prince of Peace and Comforter. However, alongside that Prince/Comforter reigns the God of the Universe, and we must never think less of Him. Those who touched the ark of the covenant died (2 Samuel 6:1-7). There is a holiness about God that we can never ignore, a power in His being that we can never comprehend, an energy we can never touch without being destroyed. We must never reduce our God to a kind benefactor.

Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “God is not nice. God is not an uncle. He is an earthquake.”

Isaiah learned this truth when he saw the Lord up close, “‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined!’” (Isaiah 6:5a, NIV).

Of course, that is not the end of the story. This power and holiness that spoke the universe into being and drowned the Egyptian army who dared oppose Him is wrapped in a love for me so great that it nailed Him broken on a tree. Thus so, as we fall to our knees before the power and majesty and fearsomeness of our Creator King, we are also invited to wrap our arms around a cross of love in the heart of God.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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