Yesterday, while I was at church, I had a hard time following the sermon. You may have found yourself in this situation frequently, but I never had a hard time following a sermon when I was preaching. It always makes perfect sense when you are the one saying it! But the sermon I heard yesterday was a little convoluted. So I picked out one idea that could speak to me and focused on the image of being drawn to God.
Rev. Patton talked about having his roof redone which resulted in lots of nails in his yard. The roofing company ran a magnet over the ground and picked up all the nails. I continued to think about this idea long after Rev. Patton moved on to other points. My first thought was that most roofing nails are non-magnetic. But I did some research on that and found out that most of them are galvanized. Galvanized means coated with zinc, which is non-magnetic, but the coating is so thin that a strong magnet can still pick up the nails.
My second thought was about the iron filings that Tom always had for demonstrations on magnetism in his science shows. He would keep them in a large plastic container and then show how they followed a magnet around. John and I liked to play with the filings when we waited for Tom at school.
This quickly led my brain to the third thought, another place where iron filings are used: Wooly Willy. I’m sure you’ve seen Wooly Willy someplace, at some point in your life. I was amazed they still sell him on Amazon. You use the magnet to move the iron filings around his face.
Thinking of Wooly Willy brought me back to the point that Rev. Patton had probably been trying to make: We are drawn to God. Drawn is a transitive verb defined as “to cause to move continuously toward or after a force, to cause to go in a certain direction, to bring by inducement or allure.” (Merriam-Webster). A transitive verb requires an object, which is another reason I like the word in connection to God.
I am drawn to God. I cannot use the verb “drawn” without saying that something is drawn toward something else. God causes us to move continually toward God. We are the objects. God induces us. God created us to be drawn to him.
Which led me to my next thought. We have iron in our blood. Is the iron in our blood there to help us be drawn to the magnetic force of God? Turns out the iron in our blood is so diluted that even the strongest magnetic forces on earth can’t affect it. But what if God’s magnetic force is greater than anything here on earth? I dismissed this thought as irrelevant and returned to the previous thought.
God wants us, more than anything else, to be close to him. He acts, through his prevenient grace, to call us to himself before we are even aware of his presence or his call. Prevenient grace is the grace that first draws us to God’s irresistible force. Several Bible verses talk about God drawing us closer. My favorite is Jeremiah 31:3: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” God induces us to come nearer to him with everlasting love and unfailing kindness. Wonderful!
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee.
Fanny Crosby, “Draw Me Nearer”