I have had similar talks with the Lord, especially as I listened to Philip Yancey’s Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?. So why, after discovering the answer, do I allow it to happen again? Why do I allow silence to creep back in? I don’t know. But I love John’s reminder that it is always me who fell silent first and it’s always a short trip back to communion with my Lord and King.
Lord Jesus, are we talking?
It seems like it’s been a while. My voice to you feels weak. There’s no doubt about my belief, but I guess believing doesn’t count as communication. (I think I’ve assumed that it does without really thinking about it.) I can believe in my wife and not talk to her for a week. How long has it been since you heard from me – really heard from me? If I have to ask that question, it must have been a while. Somehow I’ve got you doing nothing but waiting around to hear from me while I go about my business oblivious to our lack of communication. Like I’ve got more important things to do than you do. Ouch! That sounds pretty close to blasphemy, making me wonder how often I blaspheme you with my ignorant assumptions.
Is our relationship more important to you than it is to me? If it is, I am grossly overestimating my own importance. The issue is not whether you are on my side; the question is: Am I on yours? And only I can answer that. Am I centering my life on you? The fact that the lines of communication seem rusty right now indicates there is a lot of inequity here.
What do I need to do to get back in touch? What’s that? I’m doing it right now? You just want my attention and you’ll take it any way it comes – through joy, sorrow, confession, pain, or the reestablishment of communication? That seems almost too easy. What’s that you’re saying? “Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG)
I think I’m getting it now. No matter how far I may have strayed away, it’s always a short trip back. The breakdown in communication was only on my part, never yours. I don’t have to retrace my steps back to the last place I got off before I can hear you again, because you’ve been dogging me the whole way. As soon as I turn my heart and attention toward you, you are there to meet me because you never left.
It seems almost too good to be true. Where did I get the idea it’s supposed to be so hard?
In the grip of His grace,