I’m an extrovert. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to chat, laugh, socialize and have a good time. That said, I don’t bare my soul to many. My husband, my sister and my best friend are privy to my deepest thoughts and worries, but that’s about it. I keep conversation on the surface with most everyone else.
That’s why when I heard today’s reading from Psalm 63, I was immediately struck by the psalmist’s vulnerability with and passion for God:
“My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water…my soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:1-8).
Look at the verb choices: thirsts, faints, clings. We’re not talking about moderate emotions here. This person doesn’t hold God at arm’s length but instead clings to him in everything.
In his sermon Pastor Ryan outlined three distinct spots on our journey with God.
1. I know about God.
2. God’s an acquaintance.
3. My best friend is God.
When he got to point number two, Noah leaned over in the pew and whispered, “That’s where I am. “ I nodded, “Me, too, honey.”
I certainly don’t approach God like he’s my best friend. I don’t tell him what’s embedded deep in my heart. I don’t unburden myself to him in any real way. I pray, yes. I pray for my children and my husband and my family, for loved ones and friends and even acquaintances and strangers I meet online. I ask God for patience and humility and for eyes to see him in my everyday, and I thank him specifically for the gifts I receive from him. But that’s where my interaction with him ends. I don’t really sit down with God and have a heart-to-heart, like I might with my sister, Jeanine or my best friend, Andrea. I don’t talk to God conversationally throughout the day, and I don’t really express my deepest fears and insecurities to God like I might to my husband.
I have a formal relationship with God – if he weren’t God, I’d probably refer to him as a Mr.
I remember a few years ago Pastor Greg preached a sermon about “having a relationship with God.” I recall laughing to myself at little bit over that one. At that point I was so busy clapping myself on the back for getting to the point where I even believed in God, the thought of having a relationship with him seemed inconceivable.
That notion doesn’t sound nearly as crazy now, which I take to be a good sign. After all, I’ve gone from simply believing in and knowing about God to engaging in some kind of relationship with him. It’s not deep, but at least it’s friendly.
Still, if I’m really honest, I know this: I don’t let God get close to me. I keep God at arm’s length.
I think it’s time to change that, to take the next step. While I’m not exactly sure what that looks like, I do think God is asking me to take the leap from acquaintance to best friend. I think he wants me to dig deeper and get more real with him, to show him my true self, even the darker, uglier parts of myself.
Thankfully, God knows me. He knows I’m a little standoffish, hesitant to reveal my true self. He knows I have very few in my innermost circle and that I am slow to admit anyone new. Thankfully, he’s also a patient God, and as he’s demonstrated so far along this journey, he’s a God who is willing to wait.
So what about you? Where are you in your interactions with God — knowing about him; friendly but distant; or BFF?
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