Devotional Thought of the Day:
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT)
456 You belittle meditation… Might you not be afraid, and so seek anonymity since you dare not speak with Christ face to face? You must see that there are many ways of belittling meditation, even though you might say you are practising it. (1)
Yesterday, in our adult Bible Study, I asked a question…..
“Would it seem right to pray the Lord’s prayer, “Dad in heaven”.
A number of people were squirming! “It isn’t reverent enough”, As I asked people what difference it would make, “it would make Him seem closer,”,As we talked through the idea, it also became apparent that it would make Him seem to be listening more directly, and more involved in our lives.
After all, besides my friend the seminary president who dropped in for a visit, none of us addressed our parents as “Dear Father reading the paper”, or “Dear Mother in the Kitchen”!
We want a safe distance as we pray, we want to be able to keep God there, over in the sanctuary, or a reminder on the fireplace mantle, or perhaps, we want to see Him in far out in the Galaxy. Seeing him sitting on our couch, or at our dinner table, or talking to us in the backyard while we are barbecuing? Would that be too close for you? What if God shared even more intimate moments with us?
Does the thought of God living with you strike fear in your hearts? Does it cause you to think first of that time – where your thoughts were impure, or when you couldn’t resist letting your anger, or jealousy, or lust reign in your life? Are we terrorized when we read that God knows our thoughts?
What would happen if we looked forward to that level of intimacy, counted on it? What if our reaction was the same as when a child is waiting for Dad to get home, to share with him the day, to play catch, to tell Him of our heartbreaks? What would happen if we took to times of meditation and prayer for what they were – times of intimate, deep times with God, even if a word is not said? ( I remember my times of walking down the shore road with my dad – neither saying a word for a mile or two – as some of our greatest times…) What if our conversations with God resembled Andy Griffith and Ron Howard in the closing credits of the black and white television show? That is the gift promised and given in our baptism! The presence of the Holy Spirit, for such is the gift to those God claims as His children!
think of this – in times of joy – you can cry out – Daddy – come look and see, (as He smiles, for who do you think set up the glorious moment), in times of great trauma – you can cry our Daddy, and know His comfort and healing will be there, as He assures us, promises us that all will work out… for good, because of His love. And in the between times, we walk with Him…revealing His mercy, His care, His cleansing our lives. Revealing how deep, how high, how broad – how wide His love is for us.
Why are we afraid of this/
As we sang as children – with great joy, “Lord, be with us!”
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2013-2016). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.