Early memories of my Christian walk are met with nostalgic envy, for I recall it being so easy to be excited about God. I remember a time several weeks or months after my "conversion" (the day I prayed for Jesus to enter my heart and life to be Lord) where I was standing on top of my chair, hands raised, tears blinding me, snot nearly choking me as it ran from my nose, soaking my shirt. Why I was crying is hard justify to one not familiar with the concept and experience of the Holy Spirit. In that fresh, new experience of being with God, feeling his presence around me, I was overwhelmed with joy. Part of me was sad and regretful of my brokenness as a young kid. Part of me was madly in love with Jesus and the idea that he loved me. Over the years, I have often lost that intense gratitude and understanding. I envy the passion I had in my youth. I look over my life and my understanding of my relationship with God now, as a twenty three year old graduate, and honestly, I feel alone.
A quick truth about the followers of God: The only difference between followers and those not interested in the things of God is the hope that we can that we will not lose our connection to God. We still are spiteful, conniving, selfish, lustful, annoyed, angry, happy, sad, giving, dishonest, resentful, forgiving... just like everyone else. Why? Because we all are human, broken but human. Followers hold on to the hope of staying connected with God because we see the need to change and trust God is powerful and righteous enough to lead us away from brokenness into redemption. We see Jesus' work on the cross as a means to atone us and make us more like God, who is all loving and forgiving, selfless and giving.
Okay, so it wasn't too quick, but my point is I still feel alone sometimes, even though I claim having a personal relationship with God. Why do I feel alone? In part, I am to blame for I flee from God... I'm the friend who doesn't return phone calls and avoids people out of insecurity. I feel insecure around God most of the time. Not all the time, like when his love renders me powerless to resist his comfort. But when I do resist, and pull away, I feel lonely, alone and isolated. I am to blame, but there are times when I wonder if God does choose to remain hidden or distant, whether to teach an important lesson of discipline (for example) or what not... Who know really but God?
What do I want to say? That I am no different than anyone else except my hope to find God active in my life, so that He can help me change into a better person. I am certain the key to that is letting God be my Loving Father, and fully receiving his love. The key is to find in my heart the place to intimately cry out "Daddy" and trust God hears and undoubtedly will respond in kind with abundance.
I want to say that is my deepest prayer, to be so intimate with God, and that everyone on this earth will be the same. There is a lot of brokenness, fear, pride, sin... there is a lot that keep me from knowing that, that keeps all of us from knowing that. Ideally, those following find that identity and become strengthened and empowered, teaching and guiding more and more toward God and his message of hope. Ideally, I learn it and lead.
A question to end with that can double as a prayer request: God, do you at times intentionally withhold your followers, your children from drawing deeper in intimacy with you, or is it our brokenness to blame? Is it my brokenness? If our brokenness, could you pour your Holy Spirit out in abundance to accelerate our progressive salvation, that we may learn to trust you more and more with our care? If your withholding, can you increase our patience for your coming and our obedience to what we know for certain, that you may be pleased with us?
"Come up here, come up now
My Beloved, My Beloved..."
Here I come oh Lord...
In the midst,
In the midst of heartache, oh God
In the midst of brokennes, oh Lord
Even like John on the Isle of Patmos, oh Lord
In the midst of persecution, Lord
I look up, I look up, oh Lord
I look up, oh Lord
And I see in the heavens, oh Lord
I see your door, Lord, standing wide open, Lord
Wide open, Lord
And I hear with my ears,
I hear your voice that sounds like a trumpet, Lord
Sounds like a trumpet, Lord
And you're calling out to me,
"Child come up here, beloved come up here,
Come up here and hear my voice,
Come up here and see what I want to do,
...come, my Beloved, come...
You are my Beloved...
Don't let anyone,
Don't let anything hold you back."
- Jason Upton (Come Up Here)