Monday, October 24, 2016

Lonely God

Could God be lonely?  This is somewhat of an abstract thought.  We often speak of having a relationship with God or with Jesus.  Yet I would contend that God IS lonely because our relationship time tends to be relegated to 10 minutes, maybe even a half hour, of us talking to Him.  Seldom do we take the time to have a true relationship, to sit down with Jesus and ask what is on His heart.  Do we know what is making Jesus weep today?

So, what really keeps us from doing this?  Yes, there is the obvious that He is not physically here to sit and have coffee or tea with.  But, I think there is something that goes much deeper with us.  In a word, I suggest the answer could be ‘fear’.

Sitting and truly listening to God through the power of the Holy Spirit makes us confront several scriptural realities.  The first is that “His ways are not our ways.” (Isaiah 55:9)  What if I discover I’ve been headed in the wrong direction all this time?  What if like Peter, He challenges my theology and understanding of what is true?  Secondly, sitting with Jesus suggests that like Peter, He may ask us to go where we would rather not go (John 15:18).

Both of these realities suggest a much deeper issue.  Do we truly love and trust God?  In our minds, we know God is love as we are told in 1 John 4.  But, without taking time with Jesus, how do we really know that this is true?  Will God ask me things that make me face a part of me that I don’t wish to face?  Will He tell me to do something that I can’t do?

I am far from being able to listen to Christ well, but the one thing I have learned is that He is pure love, and the burden of anything He asks is gentle and light.  Jesus will not snuff out a smoldering wick, but rather He will nurture it into a flame.  (Isaiah 42:3)  God is the loving Father who wants the very best for you.

Today, I invite all of us to take time to listen to the mind, the heart and the words of Jesus.  Let us find a time and place where He can speak to us, where we can hear Him call us His beloved.  It takes time to quiet our hearts, to put ‘life’ aside and to allow Jesus to show us His burden and His yoke.  In the Gospel of John, John spends all of chapter 15 describing the loving relationship where Jesus abides in us and us in Him.  This is the place where Jesus moves into our hearts and He becomes part of us.  I hope that even today you can find time to sit quietly - long enough to hear His gentle voice calling you by name.