Good. I thought you might.
I’m thirsty for knowledge and for freedom. I suck up podcasts like a starving person. I could easily be a conference junkie, traveling anywhere and spending whatever it cost to attain nuggets of truth to further me on this journey deeper into God’s heart, where shackles and chains are broken off like tiny bits of confetti.
It’s been a difficult and painful journey. I’ve struggled with loneliness and depression, anger and anxiety.
Much of my life I’ve been scared of Him. Scared of not meeting His expectations, scared of failing, of incurring His disapproval and disappointment.
But I have discovered the incredible beauty and fullness of getting to live—–minute by minute—–with Him. In the delight He has for me (and for you).
And the incredible thing is, when those minutes turn to hours or days without my walking in intimacy with Him, the second I go running back, He never mentions those minutes. It’s as if they don’t exist and our connection has been unbroken for all of my existence.
My story is much longer than I can write here, but one pivotal moment took place in my closet. Yes, I know. Odd place to hang out—–but remember the little people in my life. Loud little people.
So this closet happened to have a window. And day after day, I would sit in the sunshine seeking His presence in complete stillness, taking to heart Psalm 46:10.
And one day I got mad.
I opened my eyes after sitting there for a half hour or so and told Him, “I’ve been coming in here for days, spending hours in Your presence, only You don’t show up.” It felt so unfair—–and I felt so unloved and rejected by Him—–sacrificing precious time, only to have Him ignore me.
Very quickly a verse came to mind, “He will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6)
The next thing that came to my mind was something Graham Cooke once said. (I later realized this was God speaking to me—–He’ll bring things to mind that we think we are remembering, but He’s searched the storehouses of our memories to bring something important to us).
Graham said something along the lines of, “God is always with us and sometimes we feel Him.”
Huge revelation for me. God is with me. Always. I don’t have to feel Him to make it a truth. It just is our reality.
That changed everything. I no longer relied on my emotions to tell me if God was near. I believed He was near. And the cool thing was that belief translated into experience, and I sensed His presence more often.
The next pivotal moment came years later.
Again, I was sitting in my closet (new house, new closet—–and darn, I missed that window). Kids weren’t obeying, and I was tired and irritable and feeling a bit sorry for myself. And I wasn’t really into my quiet time; it was more to mark that “to do” box off my list because I didn’t want the guilt.
So I went to vision. What I mean is, when I closed my eyes, I pictured Him. I wanted to experience Him in a more intimate way and since He’s created us as visual creatures, I wanted to see Him when I closed my eyes. Picture myself with Him.
The day before, I’d tried picturing myself with the Trinity (the Father, Jesus the Son, and Holy Spirit) sitting around a table. I wanted to meet with Them in a way where we could talk together. But the table I pictured was too big, and we sat too far apart. I got frustrated trying to create something that wasn’t working, so ended my quiet time.
Now, when I was so irritable, I closed my eyes and immediately saw a tiny bistro table with the three of Them seated shoulder to shoulder. They wore white robes and each had shoulder length grayish white hair and beards and I was seated directly across from them. Only about eight inches separated us.
Then one of Them turned to the other and said, “You tell her.”
That one said to the next, “No, you tell her.”
And He said, “No, you tell her.”
Finally, one of them agreed. “Okay, I’ll tell her.” He turned to me and with great nervousness said, “You’ve been crabby.”
I melted and then we talked about my attitude and how to get back into connection with Them so Their love flowed through me. It wasn’t even so much a conversation between us, as a knowing.
So I glowed through that day, feeling so loved and so close to God. But I felt a little weirded out too. So I finally talked to Them about it.
“I feel like I’m being disrespectful because I think of you all—-in that moment—-as the Three Amigos or the Three Stooges.” (Three Stooges as God? That felt completely irreverent).
And I heard a gentle and firm response, “That’s how We wanted you to see Us. How would you have felt if We came in as the Three Hatchet Men?”
Totally cracked me up (and I breathed a great sigh of relief). They get me and get my humor (probably because they created it).
I’m not saying that is what They look like in heaven or who They are—–all the time. But that is how They chose to reveal themselves to me in a situation where they wanted to talk about my attitude. And it created incredible intimacy, and made Them incredibly safe to relate to.
Tell Me How You Feel
How does God reveal Himself to you?