Blog by Josh Jones
This morning I opened my eyes and looked over at my wife lying asleep next to me. It had been days since we spoke, and I felt a little ashamed at my lack of communication, but I figured that if there was anything important to talk about, she would let me know. So I got up, got dressed, and left for work without saying a word.
Today at work was a tough one. There are deadlines approaching and a mountain of “to-dos” piling up on my desk. By the time I got home and walked in the door at 5:30, all I wanted to do was crash on the couch and watch TV, but not before I asked my wife if she had been able to take care of those things I’d been asking her to do. Most of them were done, but the few that weren’t just got on my nerves, and I grumpily plodded into the living room and sunk onto the couch for a Netflix binge session.
After a few minutes, as my body finally started to relax and my vision began fading in and out of the present, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Can we talk?” she asked. “There’s been a lot on my mind, and I’d really love to talk with you about some things.”
“Can it wait?” I said without opening my eyes. “I’m so tired and I just need some time to myself right now.”
“Sure,” she said graciously. “Just let me know when you have time to listen.”
Now, I’m sure many of you are already thinking that I am the most selfish, lazy, and ignorant husband on the planet. Fortunately, this story is fictitious, but think about the relationship between this couple. If this was me, and the story played out above was any indication of my daily life with my wife, would I be getting to know her better? Would we feel connected? Would there be any real satisfaction or trust between us? Here’s the thing- too often, and for too many people, I think this unfortunate story reflects the reality of our relationship with God, because for some reason, we don’t treat it like we do our other relationships.
If someone asked us, most of us would probably say that we want to be close with God, but we only talk to Him when something big goes down.
We would say we want to serve Him, but we’re too concerned with what He’s done for us lately.
We would say we want intimacy, but we don’t even take a few moments now and then to listen to His heart.
I’ve been guilty of ALL of the above. Here’s what I’ve found. I make this relationship with God stuff WAY too complicated and WAY too legalistic. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) says:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We hear this verse and turn it into, “If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, and hop up and down while spinning in circles and reciting Psalm 119, and make sure that your quiet time lasts at least 15 minutes, cuz if not then it doesn’t count. OH, and then there’s that S.O.A.P. thing…”
Friends, if there’s anyone out there like me, and complicated requirements and rules make you want to “about-face” and run the other way, maybe you’ll find some inspiration and strength in this. God doesn’t want anything more from you than what you have, your heart and your authenticity. I believe this is the attitude referred to in John 4:24 (NIV) – “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
So whether you’re married and seeking to know your spouse better, single and seeking to make more friends (or meet that special someone), or human and seeking to know the depths of an infinite and amazing God, it almost always starts with an authentic, humbled heart, and something along the lines of: “Hi.”