I open my messages. Again. The text I sent four hours ago glares back at me. I check my inbox. Four new junk emails since my last examination. Nothing from my sons.
Scrutinizing my phone has become a compulsion. In the two weeks, four days, and twenty minutes since moving my youngest to his dorm he has called me once. Not that I need specific information. He’s sent texts and emails regarding needs, financial circumstances, etc. The data flow continues unhindered, but remains insufficient. I want to hear his voice. I long for a real conversation with him. For the connective material of relationship. And a few three-word replies to my overtures fail to satisfy the gaping sense of distance.
I understand the developmental stage of individuation, of course. His well being remains my prerogative, so I’m celebrating one aspect of his minimal communication demonstrates. Thankfully, he’s not homesick. I also recognize the temporary nature of this phase. His older brother moved to another college a few weeks earlier, and engages in lengthy conversations before thanking me for each call. Yes, I get the whole life-stage thing.
But, somehow it still tugs at a part of my heart that longs for continued relationship. And I wonder how much more God yearns for conversations, for meaningful connections with us. With a love infinitely deeper than mine, He must long for relationship more than I can imagine.
Let’s check out a few instances when the Lord spoke to His children.
“God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” (Genesis 3:9)
“Word of the Lord came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:9)
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’” (John 4:7)
“Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’” (John 21:16)
God didn’t ask any of these questions to gather information. By definition, He’s all-knowing. He doesn’t need a text, email, or prayer to get our needs. But He wants us to communicate with Him about everything He already knows. Why? The same reason I discuss the weather with my parents, tell my sons how much I love them, and listen to my husband’s favorite stories more than once. Bonding doesn’t amount to mere data transfer. It’s about sharing our hearts with one another. Inviting a loved one to inhabit time and space with us. And God yearns for intimacy with us so much He suffered on a cross to secure the possibility of eternal life with Him.
The downloaded info on a cell phone fades out of significance in a few months at most, but more often in a day. Prayer remains our most critical connection. Losing the strength of our intimate link to our Father affects every aspect of our well being. Although He knows our hopes and needs better than we do, He wants us to stay in conversation with Him about them.
Communication connects us. As we share our dreams, emotions, and gritty everyday situations with Him, we’re engaging. Discussions with our Father can involve everything from the most brilliant sunsets to our deepest concerns.
God’s desire to strengthen our bond with Him springs from perfect love, not selfish attachment. Our Father wants us to experience abundant life, which we can only receive through relationship with Him. His presence sustains us with blessings. The Holy Spirit also equips us for victory against evil targeting us in ongoing attacks. Within intimate connection to the Sovereign Lord, prayer wields power in the spiritual realms.
So, how’s your connection right now? Are there ways you could expand communication with the Father?
Lord, thank You for inviting me to spend quality time with You each day. Remind me to call on You often. Please don’t let my connection weaken or grow distant. Keep our communication open, Father. In Your Precious Name, Jesus, Amen.