Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Seeking Truth in the Relationship

Since chatting with Ike last week (goodness, was it just last week!), I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be in relationship with God.

Really, let's be honest, can we really be in "relationship" with God in the way that we are in relationship with our mom or our best friend? It's a nice sounding idea. But quite frankly, I expect Meagan, my best friend, to call and check in every once in a while. I expect for her to come visit me and for me to go visit her. I expect to have lengthy conversations with her in which we discuss our lives and in which we bounce ideas off of one another.

But God is a whole different story...God doesn't call me up on the phone or even email. He doesn't come to visit me or I to visit Him, with the exception of a metaphorical sense. And the conversations that we have seem at times to be a trifle one-sided.

Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not trying to limit God's absoluteness or His ability to be in relationship with me. But what I am saying is that it is hard for me to be in relationship with Him because I can't be in relationship with Him on my terms. There are no phone calls or visits here. It's all about the time I spend in the Word or in prayer. Or is it...

As we discussed last week being in relationship with an essentially invisible and inaudible God, Ike came to a new conclusion that maybe the problem is the way we see the problem. Maybe God is not invisible and inaudible, maybe we are blind and deaf. (Read Ike's thoughts here.) Maybe we are all Helen Keller's seeking out our Anne Sullivan--our own teacher to help as communicate with what is outside our blindness and our deafness--seeking to communicate with the infinitely visible and audible God.

In light of that, it is easy for me to understand why sometimes my relationships with people bear a greater weight in my life than my relationship with God. It is easy to understand why sometimes I am more dependent on them than I am on an omniscient God who knows far more about me than I could ever know about Him. In my blindness and deafness, I can see them, touch them, hear them. But I can't always see the ways God expresses Himself to me. I can't always here His gentle whisper or even His roaring thunder. I confess that I am more dependent on some of these relationships with people than I am on my relationship with God. I confess that some of these relationships are on their way to becoming idols in my life. And I confess that I desperately want them torn down before they become that. I also confess that I don't necessarily know how to tear down those soon-to-be idols. I confess that I need God to do the tearing down, and that I need Him to place Himself securely on the throne of my heart. I confess that I need Him to teach me to overcome my blindness and my deafness. I confess that I'm dumb sheep and that I need a shepherd.

Lord, make me incredibly aware of you! Where my eyes fail, enliven me to Your touch. Where my ears fail, awake me to Your aroma. Where every sense fails, teach me to taste and see that You are good. Tear down all idols and would-be idols in my life. Be the shepherd that I need You to be. Lead me on clear paths, teach me to feed on Your Word, and whet my thirst on Your streams of mercy. I love you, Lord, and I'm praying to want nothing more than You everyday that You give me.


kristi w said...

After a tumultuous time in our lives, I became keenly aware of my size in comparison to God. I'm sure you heard my analogy before (ad nauseam). In human terms, having a relationship with God is a little like the relationship between Connor, a toddler, and myself. It's not that I am trying to be obtuse or uncooperative; he just doesn't get it. He does not understand many of the words I use, because he not meant to...yet. God is not silent in response or deaf to our cries; we just don't get His language...yet. I look forward to the day that we can be complete and understand our Lord's messages clearly.

Sorry so long...

Steve Maxwell said...

And so we say thank you Holy Spirit. Thank you for interceding and translating. I must encourage you, AP, because at least you want to be closer to GOD than to other people. There are a lot of people who want to be closer to GOD and that is an important first step.

Holy Spirit help us all to desire you more than we desire others.