I recently had an experience where my understanding of a friendship was challenged. It was one of those moments where the person you thought was a friend did not act in a way that you anticipated. It made me feel like a toy that had been carelessly flung to the side-it hurt my heart.
As I meditated on it I felt like this event did not expose a flaw in the life of the other person, but a deep flaw in my own. A problem of where I derive my hope and worth. And the voice of God within me called me to a deeper intimacy with him.
We are built for relationship with others. Most of the time family members, social media contacts, classmates, coworkers, spouses, and children satisfy this need on varying levels. We seek validation from these people by subtly asking for complements or by blatant self-depreciation in hopes that someone will sweep into our comment feed and shower us with blessings.
But it only works for so long and eventually these methods don’t work. So we lose ourselves in things we think will give us worth. We spend more time at work to complete tasks that might matter to someone. We drink or use to numb the pain of the emptiness that we experience. Honestly these are the easy ways of coping but they are wholly insufficient.
God calls us to an intimacy with him that surpasses any other relationship we could have. But the caveat is that it takes some effort on our part.
One of the grievous misconceptions of Christianity is that faith in Christ fixes all problems. I have seen people fall away from the faith because they life did not correct itself. Thankfully God is not a cosmic micromanager who takes control of our every move. He opens the door to a relationship where he disciplines, comforts, guides us in our journey.
What are you doing to help this process?
If you want to know God in this way, it starts by taking some time to share with God. You have to listen and watch for his move in your life. I know the best thing we can do is start with simple prayers to God. In the same way we call on friends to comfort us, we call on God to hear our prayer.
When we start to do the work of going to God first with our problems, cares, and concerns then we are doing to the work of fostering relationship and intimacy with God. So next time you hit the wall-pick up the phone second…call on Jesus first.
Rev. Ken Platt, Lead Pastor at Wallenpaupack Church