When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. — Matthew 2:19
“God, I want to experience you.” These may not be your exact words, but you’ve likely prayed something close to this at some time. It’s a wonderful prayer. It is also a prayer God answers.
This is the only prayer I am certain God will directly answer. I cannot answer when and how God will answer your prayer, but you can.
It may take time.
Here is something that may help. It does not take time on God’s side of things to answer the prayer you’ve prayed. Imagine a chess game where you and God are playing the game together. You may hem and haul for close to half an hour on your next board move, but God? She knows exactly what She is going to do—even when it isn’t Her turn yet.
See, She surprises you. You may think She’s on the opposite side of the board, that you’re facing each other, but God is God. She is also beside you. If you were paying attention to something other than the board, you’d notice she is holding your hand, or She is embracing your side with Her hand gently over your shoulder. She will do this, especially if you’ve been crying.
That’s God. Always love. Always present.
Do we, as church communities, get this? If so, do we practice an always loving, always present, and always surprising God?
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about Graham Standish’s book, “Becoming A Blessed Church.” Standish has eye-opening challenges for church lovers and for those who read my preps and remain far from entering a church because we are, in your words, “a bunch of hypocrites.”
Standish says, “Too many churches function only on function, on doing the activities of the church, not on the fact that at their heart churches are meant to be spiritual communities in which people form a relationship with and experience God.”
Standish’s story parallels mine. As a kid, he was not a church groupie. In fact, he was repelled—and rebelled—from The Establishment. In his pain, however, God was present. It wasn’t God who was distant; it was Standish. And me. And maybe you, too.
Scripture tells us that Jesus’ earthly father experienced God in three dreams. We may experience God differently. Think back to the chess game imagery. The next move is yours. Just remember God is always moving. Specifically, God is always moving on your behalf, even when you cannot see it.
PRAYER: Forgive me when I have not seen You. And I pray I experience You today. Amen.