I am on Day 3 of a listening prayer exercise. Through Seth and Patti, I got connected with Kathy who is disciplining me on this journey. There is a workbook that we use (a gift from Seth) and Kathy helps me process my thoughts, encourages me and act as a sounding board to what I am hearing. We communicate through email and meet online once a week. I felt impressed to share some thoughts I have about Day 3 – on being in a personal relationship with Jesus.
Day 3 – I can recall times when I felt my conversation with God was most personal. Those were times when I could speak to God freely, on anything and everything, from the heart and without reservations. Still, I could do better by learning to wait for God to speak. That would be closer to a 2-way dialogue, a give-and-take kind of relationship. At the end of Day 3, there is a part about God being transcendent. I think this is the part that makes a 2-way relationship difficult and one of the key reasons why a personal relationship with Jesus can get tricky. Like what the book says, silence in a conversation usually feels awkward and oftentimes that is the main thing we hear. I once read a book by Philip Yancey – Reaching for An Invisible God, and can truly appreciate a life lived out in faith, trying to connect with a being who is beyond time and space. It is no wonder people outside think strangely of us believers who are practicing this personal relationship. I have a friend who was in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend for a few years. They eventually got married but unfortunately still living in different continents. I could see the struggle they went through to keep that relationship going. At least they have MSN and Skype to help. In any case, they could always pick-up the phone and hear an audible voice! Our relationship with God is the ultimate long distance relationship. Yet at the same time, God says His spirit lives in us. He is so close and yet so far! I think the Christian faith is truly extraordinary in so many ways. It is like trying to bridge a gap that separates two worlds – the spiritual and the earthly. The only link we have between the two is Jesus Christ – the God-Man. One either thinks it is all rubbish, a naive and foolish endeavor. Or we drop to our knees. But you know what, as much as we think we are trying to reach for God, the Bible says grace and truth CAME through Jesus Christ. God wants to reach out to us just as much, if not more! And He says… my sheep knows my voice. That ought to encourage us. I think God understands our predicament. He knows that is not easy for us. Hey, who knows, maybe it is not easy for God either! Imagine an all-powerful and all-knowing God trying to communicate with His fallible and limited creation. This is why I think He can be patient with us and has us covered in His grace.