These are very challenging times. Perhaps they’re orchestrated by the Lord to bring us to a place where we can really hear his Word. By which I mean for us not just to think nice, pious thoughts, but to hear his Word and have a relationship with Him and love Him.
You may say, “Oh, yes, I know God.” Okay. But do you know Jesus Christ, the One whom the Father sent to this earth to teach us the way we needed to go? God wants a personal relationship with you. It isn’t enough to say, “No, God,” or “Yes, God,” to this or that. The importance is in knowing Him. Knowing Him who loves you. Knowing the One whom you are called to love and whom you want to serve.
God wants to encourage you, especially in this time when everyone is confused and bewildered and wondering what’s next on the list. We are all asking, “What will get worse, and is anything going to get better?”
We all have these kinds of thoughts. What we want to do with these thoughts is to take them to the Lord and say, “Lord, I want to draw closer to you. I want to belong to you. Help me. Help me sit quietly with You every day, even if for just a few moments.” And then just sit quietly every day. Tell God you love Him. Tell Him you want to follow Him. Ask Him to help you. He will be only too glad to help you. He died for you, not for billions. He died for each one of us. He promised us everlasting life if we follow Him and draw close to Him.
God sees you 24/7. God sees you. He knows what you are doing. He wants to relate to you. Each of us has a slightly different relationship with God. We each have different gifts and different abilities, but He wants a relationship with each of us.
I read a book entitled God or Nothing by Cardinal Robert Sarah from Africa. The book is a conversation on faith, and in it, Cardinal Sarah writes,
“It is important to give individuals the opportunity for the experience of close encounters with Christ. Without such a heart-to-heart conversation, we are fooling ourselves if we think that people will follow the Son of God in the long term. It reminds me of a saying of the Desert Fathers that left a deep impression on me during my Biblical studies in Jerusalem. Translated from Coptic, it expresses the importance of the indispensable interior life in being a Christian:
‘One monk met another and asked him, ‘Why do so many abandon the monastic life?’ ‘Why?’ the other monk replied. ‘Monastic life is like a dog chasing a rabbit. It runs after the rabbit, barking. Many other dogs, hearing the bark, join in, and they all run together after the rabbit. But after a while, all the dogs that run without seeing the rabbit wonder, ‘Where are we going? Why are we running?’ They become tired, get lost, and stop running, one after the other. Only the dogs that see the rabbit continue to pursue it to the end until they catch it.’
“And the moral of that little story is this; only those whose eyes are fixed on the person of Christ on the cross persevere to the end.”
God wants a personal relationship with each of us, and I encourage you to draw near to Him now.
In the morning, give Him at least some moments before you go to work. Offer your day to Him. Ask Him to help you. At the end of the day, take some time to thank God. Plan a time to read the Scripture passages of the day, ponder them, and ask, “How do they apply to me?”
You may say, “I don’t have time,” but something is not in the right order if you don’t have time for God. Give Him time daily in prayer however you need to do it. Maybe it’s fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening, or something that works for your schedule. Give God time. The more you share your heart with Him, the more you talk to Him, the more you ask Him for help, and the more you thank Him for what He has given you, the nearer and deeper your relationship with God will become. Ask the Lord to help you with this, and count on the fact that I am praying for you every day.