from Rachel: Developing Your Friendship with God

“May 5, 2004

“I will try to remember to pray often, ‘Dear Jesus, more than anything else, I want to get to know you intimately.’”

“I need to remember that it is very important to grow closer to God, even if my main reason to want to want to is self-preservation – I would rather do this the easy way – voluntarily – than the hard ways – through lessons in pain to fuel my passion and awaken me from spiritual lethargy.”

“First, Lord, I want to want to for the right reason. I know what I said before is rooted in selfishness. as would be reasons of knowing You better to gain blessings. Help me to want a better relationship with You purely for the joy of that relationship. Help me feel joy and enjoyment from our time together – me talking : prayer, and me listening to You : studying Your Word. Give me a hunger and a yearning for those times. Help me desire them more than computer games, TV, crosswords, jigsaws, even games. Help me feel nourished by Your spiritual bread (especially in my physical hunger tomorrow (National Day of Prayer)).”

Dearest Rachel –

Far be it for me to question your motivation; to be honest, it’s amazing that anybody would contemplate the possibility that they might be motivated to seek a closer relationship with God due to something as selfish as fear of consequences for not doing so. The fact that you recognized that that could be a possibility and something that most people (including myself) might not have been able (or willing) to consider.

To this day, I still have difficulty wrapping my head around cultivating this relationship; partly because it’s difficult to grasp the give-and-take of conversation within it. I know He wants to hear from me every day, and I do try, but what do you say to Someone who already knows everything? And what would be His response to anything I might say or, more importantly, ask? I’ve mentioned several times before that some of my questions would, based on what I’ve read, be met with a whirlwind and a “how dare you question me?” Not the sort of thing that a loving Father might say (unless, now that I think about it, you consider “because I said so” to be a common enough response from a father).

It is a strange thing to wrap one’s head around; how best to understand what a relationship is to God. He describes himself as a Father, of course, but also as a Bridegroom and a Friend. That last isn’t separate from the others, but those others are certainly mutually exclusive from each other. How do you determine what aspect of God you’re speaking to at any given time?

Again, I may be overthinking it; and it just may be the lateness of the hour and the disjointed thinking of having just woken up to try and get Chompers situated that’s preventing me from a truly coherent thought at the moment. But I will have to admit to having some difficulty knowing how to approach Him. Heck, honey, I have trouble conversing with you these days. Just because I make an effort to do it every day doesn’t mean that I really have myself together and know what to say.

All I can do for now is to try and stay faithful, stay consistent, and keep in touch with you and Him. and I’m not about to concern myself about what my motivation is for any of it: at this point, I’m probably already going through ‘the hard way’ regardless.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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