Monday, July 24, 2017
Do Not Disturb
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8.
I remember when my daughter Caroline was 18 years old she had just gone off to college. She and her boyfriend were on a break, but trying to determine if they had a future together. I’ll never forget that Super Bowl Sunday when I missed a call from her boyfriend’s mother. The next call was Caroline, and we finally were able to understand what she was saying. Her boyfriend had been killed that day in a motorcycle accident and her world crashed around her. She wouldn’t let me go up to college to get her, so I waited at home for 4 days until she came home for the funeral. I remember that she was so distant from me, and stayed away from my presence. She told me later it was because her despair was too raw for us to discuss. Through protecting her heart and her vulnerable feelings, our fellowship was temporarily interrupted. Her vulnerability and hidden thoughts created a temporary barrier in our relationship.
This is exactly what happens when we say our prayers to God, avoiding certain areas of our heart. We hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign around the raw and vulnerable places. We pray with well-intended words like ‘Your will be done…You have a perfect plan…I trust you’ all the while keeping our Father at a safe distance. We don’t have the courage to say the things we really want to say like ‘Where were you God?’ ‘Where are you God?’ ‘Why did I have to drink this cup all the way down to the dregs?’
The dregs…living with a disease…being in a dying marriage…having a prodigal child…having no money to pay the bills…losing a loved one. I’m not sure what your ‘drinking down to the dregs’ looks like but I know I have been there and will be again. But, I want God’s truest intimacy and fellowship, so I know I cannot set up barriers. When I hold back certain areas, my prayers feel flat, and my relationship with God feels distant. We must approach Him with our disappointments, our disillusions, and our feelings of discouragement. He already knows anyway, but wants us to bring them all to Him not to judge us, but to minister to us. Once everything is out on the prayer table, our intimacy with Him will grow and our fellowship will return to its purest form…HONESTY.
“Father, forgive us for not trusting you with our disappointments and past discouragement. Thank you for loving us enough to allow us to speak, not only from our daily circumstances, but from our most tender and rawest areas. Hear our vulnerable utterings…heal our vulnerable hearts…help us re-enter into your Presence with uninterrupted fellowship. In your precious love, Amen.”