How Much Distance Is Enough

When Joe and I first got married, he was always the one in the driver’s seat. I enjoyed being the passenger and not having to worry about which street to turn on or what exit to take. I’m not sure if he fully trusted my driving back then. But, as we had been married longer, he started turning over some of my driving responsibilities.

I didn’t want to drive, but he would say that he was getting sleepy, so I needed to take over. Since no one wants to be in a car with a sleepy driver, I would grudgingly get behind the wheel. He would nap for 30 minutes or so, and when he woke up, he would play on his phone and want me to continue driving. But that didn’t mean that HE wanted to give up complete control.

One of his pet peeves is that I travel too close to the car in front of me. Whether we’re traveling on the interstate or going 5 miles an hour stuck in traffic, it doesn’t matter. Ever so often, he looks up from his phone and says, “You need to put more distance between you and the car in front of you.” (Insert my eye roll here)

I have pointed out numerous times that I’ve never hit a car in the rear and that driving while he is sleeping is fine. Nothing seems to stop him from telling me to “back off” multiple times while we go down the road.

I’m not an aggressive driver, and I don’t drive too close, but when you aren’t in charge of what is happening around you, you try to grab control any way you can. My car now has a smart cruise control that I can set, and it will keep a set distance between me and the car in front of me. I may have the speed set at 55, but if the vehicle in front of me is going 50, the car will slow me down to match his speed, so we stay the same distance apart.

Having a distance between me and the car in front of me is smart. It gives me more time to react to any issue that might happen. But keeping things at a distance isn’t always the best thing to do. When my kids were little, they were never allowed to go outside a set area we had in the yard. And when the grandchildren are around, I’ve always got ahold of their hands (even if they protest) because I know that having too much distance between us can cause issues.

In Matthew 26:47-74, you can read about the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and how Peter (according to John 18:10-11) cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest who was there to arrest Jesus. Jesus had already told the disciples what was to come, but they might have hoped that it wouldn’t happen because Jesus had the power to stop the crucifixion.

Matthew 26:57-58

57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

Jesus healed the man’s ear and went with them peacefully. In all the times I’ve read those couple of verses, I never thought about the “distance” that Peter put between himself and the Lord. I was too caught up in the fact that he had fought for Jesus and was now following behind Him.

The amount of distance Peter put between himself and Jesus allowed Him to “see” Jesus but not be “with” Jesus. Later in the story, Peter even sits by the fire with the people who are there to crucify Jesus and denies that he even knows Jesus when he is recognized.

I’ve often wondered about Peter choosing to sit at the fire with the enemy. Was he trying to overhear a plan so he could thwart it, or was he just that cold? There is an old saying about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. But you have to be careful that some of their ways don’t jump off on you like fleas on a dog.

Luke 22:59-62

59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

Did the distance that Peter put between himself and the Lord have anything to do with him denying knowing Jesus three times? Jesus had already told Peter this would happen, but Peter was sure that he would never betray Jesus because he loved Him so much. But, when Jesus turned and looked at him after the rooster crowed, Peter remembered Jesus’ words and was ashamed.

Distance can be great if you’re traveling in a car, but putting distance between you and the Lord can lead to disappointment, shame, and many tears. When Jesus looked at Peter, I don’t think it was a look that said, “I told you so.” I think Jesus looked at him with sympathy and forgiveness, and it was a look that said, “I still love you.”

If the distance between you and Jesus has been too great, ask for forgiveness and put your foot on the gas. He is quick to forget and forgive and always has open arms.

To God Goes The Glory!

Have A Blessed Day!

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  1. ❤️ I love how you have a story to lead into the message for the day.
    I look forward to reading your Sunday posts.

    1. Annette, I try to use my life any time I can to relate to ways we can glorify the Lord in our daily lives.

  2. I love your Sunday posts. Such a good analogy to make us stop and think about. Yes, we want to follow Jesus very closely.

  3. Linda Williams says:

    These are Beautiful words!! Love your blog!! Have a Great Labor Day!!🌻💛🌻

  4. Terry Shannon says:

    Absolutely!! Thank you

  5. Great message about keeping Jesus close.
    Thank you for that reminder. 😊

    1. You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  6. This will stay with me; I love this post. Thanks, Tania. I will be careful not to allow too much distance between myself and the Lord.

  7. Michelle Brown says:

    Following too close or the proper distance between vehicles is often open to interpertation.We were taught one car length for every ten miles per hour of speed.That being said its impossible to do that in the Phoenix AZmetro area.Some of our “drivers” use the freeways like the Daytona 500.Tania ,do the best you can and if Joe bothers you too much ,pull a roll of duct tape from your purse and say “Now or Later”,hahahahaha.

    1. Ha! That would go over well.

  8. Great message today. Also, I am thrilled to be the winner of this week’s $50 Amazon Gift Card. Thank you, Tania. Best,

    1. Julia, I hope you enjoy spending the gift card and buy something cute or useful!

  9. What a great devotional. Remembering to stay close to Jesus is so important. Thank you for this great reminder.

  10. Debra Lyons says:

    Why was my post from this morning in response to your message kept off the blog?

    1. Lol! Debra, your comment is there. All comments go through a moderation process, and it isn’t always the fastest.

  11. Connie Schnuelle says:

    I enjoyed today’s post. Especially the Bible correlation. I often tell my husband and children they drive too close. 😊

  12. What a great way to end this devotional – when we follow Jesus, it’s okay to tailgate! Thanks so much, Tania.

  13. Great message and reminder!

  14. Funny, but I’m the one who always thinks whoever else is driving is too close! I never use cruise co tool for the same reason. I like to be in control. Oops!
    But when it comes to our relationship with Jesus we can never be too close, can we? Too many of us probably tend to drift away from time to time. Always good to check our distance on that. Thanks for todays thoughts!

    1. You’re welcome, Pat. Amen. We can NEVER follow too closely.

  15. Love this! Thank you!! Happy Sunday everyone!

  16. Good thoughts! Thank you for the Sunday message! Always give me hope.

  17. You make the most interesting analogies. Never in a million years would I have thought of explaining distance from Jesus in this way. Surely do enjoy your Sunday posts … great food for thought.

  18. Debra Ryland says:

    Love your posts so much. I look forward to reading about your life and the comics of you and your hubby. I have to agree with Joe about keeping a distance from the car in front of you though lol. Nice to have the car that does it for you. I have that in mine too. Great feature. Have a beautiful day ❤️

  19. Janet Rector Bryant says:

    Great Word today!! I hope all your “followers” will read this.

  20. Beautiful words!!! Happy Sunday❤

  21. Holly Porter says:

    Tania, That was beautiful. I never thought about those passages that way!
    About distancing himself from the Lord.
    Very insightful.

  22. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. 🙏❤️🙏

  23. I love your Sunday devotionals! Thank you for sharing them Tania.

  24. MaryCarol says:

    Love this message!! Prayer is definitely getting me through the rough days. ❤️

  25. Lou Shanda Carter says:

    I am thankful today for God’s blessing and promises of forgiveness and never leaving my side. Praise Him! Thank you for this reminder.

  26. Love your Sunday posts!

  27. Ann Ekberg says:

    Thank you for today’s devotional.

  28. Love this, thank you for posting

  29. Wow, thank you for such profound insight this morning. What a big difference there is between being close enough to see, and being with. That is something I think that as a christian we can easily fool ourselves with if we are not careful. Very convicting, thank you!

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I enjoy writing the Sunday posts, so I’m glad you enjoy them.

  30. Dana Smithmier says:

    Wonderful message❤️🙏

  31. Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you 😊

  32. Jenniffer Groski says:

    Daily devotions like these help me keep God close….goodness knows I need God to keep holding my hand!

  33. Tania,
    I always look forward to your Sunday devotional. Your topics always seem to be relevant to things in my life..Thank you for your obedience! May God bless you greatly.

  34. Kathy Newcom says:

    I love reading your thoughts! Needed this today.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  35. Amen, Thank you so much, Tania! 💗

  36. Beautiful, I really enjoy your blog and especially your Sunday post.

    Thank you!

  37. Susanna Francia says:

    I loved your analogy about driving and distance and the Bible verse about our relationship with god. It was meaningful to me.

  38. connie klappenbach says:

    always enjoy your Sunday message. makes me think of how much I need Jesus everyday.

  39. Mary Kinard says:

    I look forward to your posts each day and love your Sunday posts!

  40. I can relate to the driving situation!

    1. Emily, I figured a lot of my readers would. Lol!

  41. Cheryll Sampson says:

    What a beautiful analogy. Have always thought if I had been Peter, when Jesus looked at me, I would have done more than weep. I would have been so heartbroken remembering His words. However, I am no better than Peter as I often fail to be as close to the Lord as I should be. Thank you for the Sunday blog.

  42. Jean Kern says:

    Your words are so true!

  43. How true, how true. We should always keep our eyes on the Lord and He will lead us.

  44. I’m looking forward to seeing my savior face to face! Thank you for sharing your blog!

  45. Ann Seely says:

    Thank you – I needed to hear this today 😊

  46. Debra Lyons says:

    Amen! We have a merciful God who sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ for our sins. When I am not in His Word, I put distance between us; which results in exactly what you wrote, disappointment, sadness, sin.
    Blessings to you and your family!

    1. Thanks so much, Debra! Blessings to you. 🙂