But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father, Who is in the secret place; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6: 6)
One of the most frequent laments I hear in the marital counseling session is, “I love him (or her), but I’m not in love.” Well, that could be a whole devotional in itself, but today I want to focus on that concept of what it takes to experience deep intimacy – with the Lord!
As a parent, have you ever felt that your kids just came to you when they wanted something? When you have wanted to talk, have they avoided you or somehow wiggled out of it? Have you been through a phase when it seemed they’d rather do anything but spend time with you? I was speaking with a parent in my office recently who reminded me of how painful this is – feeling out of touch with your son or daughter, wondering what he/she is covering up by secretiveness, and longing to be close again. Been there. You?
As I mentioned, many a time I’ve worked with couples with whose problems you may resonate. As a member of an “alleged” couple, have you ever felt the loneliness of alienation and distance? As far as others could tell, your relationship was good. You “carried the name.” However, the quality of the communication in the relationship was lacking. You didn’t do anything together, or if you did, it was always with other people. The emotional and physical intimacy in your relationship was practically non-existent. Yet the other person expected you to keep on doing and doing. You may have even wondered if the commitment was really there, and even if there was infidelity behind the partner’s lack of communication and connection.
How similar these scenarios are to the one God often experiences with us! We don’t want to take the time to be still and “just be” in His Presence and spend quality time with Him. We may even take 5 minutes to quickly scan a devotional. Oh, yes, we may go to church, supposedly to meet God. But there is no real intimacy with all of those other people around. We may run in to see God with our hands out and our latest list of requests. But as far as genuine and open sharing of our hearts and lives, talking with Him about the intimate details of our thoughts and feelings, well – not so much.
God created us for relationship and fellowship with Him (and with others). In the same way that we humans have hurting hearts when someone we love doesn’t seem to return that love, according to the scripture, God actually grieves over us. He loves us and wants to talk with us. I often think about what an unbelievable honor it is that the God of the Universe and beyond is willing to spend time with me – little old me – and you – lil’ old you. Even more amazing, He feels the loss when we do not show up for the meetings – too tired, too busy, too oblivious.
In a human relationship or a relationship with God, there is no substitute for making time to be alone. There’s no replacement for spending the kind of time in deep, honest communication that creates the intimacy of “being in love!”
Are you truly “in love” with the Lord?
Lord, I do love You. I crave that time alone with You. I need You. I want to actively allow You to be in my every breathing moment, to be a deciding factor in my every decision, and to be the center of my life. Otherwise, it all becomes empty drudgery. Lord, I desire the experience of feeling truly alive by I am living in intimacy with You!