Devotional Praise and Worship Songs By Susan Niswonger / last week Share Tweet Pin Share My dad passed away September, 2001 and my heart still hurts with longing every time I think of him. Dad’s 74th birthday is Sunday and our family holds the memories of his last earthly birthday year. All of his kids and grandkids made the trek down to Doniphan, MO with no anticipation that this would be the last time some of us would see him in this world. We sang, laughed, shared stories, wrote love letters, prayed with him and enjoyed just being close to him. This is a great memory, but one of my most precious memories occurred in February 2001. Dad was very sick at that time, so I offered to sit with him while Mom and Steve went to Sunday evening service. For two hours, I listened to the sound of his voice, soaked up his many “pearls of wisdom,” and delighted in just being alone with him. When it was time for us to return to Michigan, he held me so tight, as if he wanted the imprint of his arms and love for me to burned in my memory for ever. There are many days, as the tears flow down my cheeks, I stop for a moment just to remember those arms wrapped tight around me. I am so thankful that I have a Blessed Hope of one day soon gathering together, singing, laughing, sharing stories and feeling those arms holding me close. This morning, I turned over, wide awake, only to find out that it was 3:20 a.m. I’ve learned not to fight the sleepless nights but to lie there enjoying the presence of God. God is always so real in the stillness of the early morning. As I made my way downstairs a few hours later and entered the room where I like to spend time with God, His presence continued to hover. It seemed as if God didn’t want to let me go about my day, just yet. I knelt down by my chair and began my devotions as always, thanking Him for another day, for keeping us safe through the night, for health and strength. Just as I started to go through my litany of requests, I felt overwhelmed by His love for me. I simply said, “God, you know what I have need of today and I ask that you would grant it.” As I continued to sit quietly in His presence, just listening to His voice, I realized His incredible love for me. The tears began to flow, His love flooded my soul and soon His language filled my heart and lips. I knew my day would begin soon, but for now I just wanted to be close to Him. There is a worship song that comes to mind that portrays this morning’s experience: Just to be close to you, is where I want to be Let me hide myself inside your heart to find my destiny Every step I take, is one less step I’ll need To be in Your presence, close to thee Someday soon I know I’ll see You face to face, sit at Your feet and feel Your warm embrace, but for now, it is enough Just To Be Close To You.