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So close ... after two great victories over the Indians, all the Tigers needed was one more on Wednesday and they would have been tied for first place. But on Wednesday Cleveland shut out Detroit, 6-0 ... so far. A win would have placed them in a similar place in the standings as the Milwaukee Brewers ... so close, but with a record far, far inferior to those National Leaguers!

The Tigers have played a ton of close games this season. By my count they have lost 8 games by one run and 6 more of them by two. If they had won just have of these, their record would be an impressive 26-16. So close! I was surprised by my research to discover they have won 9 games by just one run (more than they lost by one). You take those 9 wins away, and their record would be an abysmal 10-32 ... the worst in the majors ... so far.

While this is the story of our Tigers (so far) this year, the story of our life with Jesus is just the opposite.

There are many times in our lives when God feels to be SO FAR away ... our struggles can come from many different directions. Work is difficult, or employment cannot be found. Life at home is a constant battle, or filled with loneliness. One health issue is followed by another. Our children lose their way, and our loved ones die. We feel like a failure, and our frustrations build. God is not giving us the answers we seek, and he feels SO FAR away.

But the reality found in God's word states the exact opposite: "The word IS NEAR you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, 'Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10.8-13)

Yes, "The Lord IS NEAR to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34.18) In fact, he is SO CLOSE to all of us that he actually enters into us as we read his word. SO CLOSE, and that same "word of God is alive and active" (Hebrews 4.12) ... guiding us by its light (Psalm 119.105) ... and "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3.16-17)

So far may be the feeling, but the reality is so close ... so, my friends, keep reading 1-2 chapters from the New Testament each day, that your feelings may be drawn into line with reality ... for rebuilding is taking place - in us and in the Tigers - but only those who are alive in Christ Jesus are guaranteed a championship (Revelation 2.10).

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