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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Snuggle Time With God

My cat is mis-named Sweet Pea. In hindsight, I should have waited to name her until I learned her personality. Had I done so, I might have named her Tasmanian Devil. Oh well, she does have a sweet side when she feels like showing it. One of her "sweet" habits is jumping up on my desk and putting her paws on my shoulder, meowing and begging to be held and petted. She demands her snuggle time, but it's usually while I'm trying to write. For some reason, she thinks my writing chair is the only place snuggling should take place. She meows until I pick her up and lean back in the chair, at which point she lays on my chest and kneads her paws into my neck. It's really hard to type in this position. She even takes her paw and gently bats my face if I try to look at the computer screen instead of her. She wants ALL my attention.

Isn't this what we do with God sometimes? When circumstances aren't what we hoped, or adversity surrounds us, we cry out to God and demand His attention to our problem. And this is a good thing--God wants us to bring our burdens to Him. But what about the other times? What about trudging through every day dealing with the mundane or routine? What about those busy days when we have more to accomplish than time allows? How about those unexpected distractions that jerk the rug out from under us and we feel we have to scramble to address them?

This morning as I was trying to work through some revisions on my latest chapter, Sweet Pea kept insisting on some one-on-one time and wouldn't take no for an answer. She wasn't in distress or pain. She didn't have an earth-shattering problem for me to solve. She simply wanted to be with me, face to face. She wanted to know that I saw her, I loved her, and she wanted to snuggle. And I realized something this silly cat was teaching me, however unknowingly. God wants the same thing from me. He wants me to stop what I'm doing and just spend time loving Him. I need the same kind of "snuggle time" with God as Sweet Pea was seeking with me. He doesn't want me to be distracted with other things. He wants ALL my attention, my love, my adoration, my praise, my worship.

I realized something else. It's somehow easier to brush God aside than it is to brush the cat aside. The cat is insistent. God is patient. The cat meows in my face. God whispers to my heart. How sad it must make Him when I allow the things of this world to take center stage and I neglect to spend snuggle time with Him.

I think I'll log off Facebook and email, and set aside this chapter I'm working on for a while, and just climb up in God's lap and love Him.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Questions You Want To Ask God

Recently I was sitting in the waiting area at Jarhead's doctor's office. (Jarhead is my car, and he needed an oil change.) Jarhead's doctor, (my mechanic) is a wonderful Christian man, so we were chatting about different things God was doing in our lives. He mentioned to me that he had posed this question to his Sunday School class: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

I grinned and replied, "I'd be willing to bet 98% of those questions began with the word "Why". He chuckled and admitted that, yes, most of them did.

God created us with an insatiable sense of curiosity. By the time a toddler is three years old, their favorite word is "why", not because they necessarily want to know the reason for something, but because they have learned asking why will generally result in a parent communicating with them. That same desire is inherent in us as we grow in our faith. Yes, we love it when God communicates with us, but that curiosity has deepened by the time we reach adolescence, resulting in an unquenched thirst to understand things beyond our grasp.

Over the past five years, I've asked God more than my share of WHY questions. When we walk through a difficult valley, WHY hovers overhead like a stalking vulture, and the accompanying frustration of not receiving the answers to our questions makes us ripe for buzzard bait. So, not wishing to remain vulnerable, I simply asked God to speak to me. I wish I could say I never demanded answers from God, but that would be a lie.

When exhaustion spent my demands, I was finally ready to listen. What God communicated to me was enlightening to say the least. He gently told me that He doesn't owe me an explanation. (blink) Well, no, of course He doesn't. But then He spilled out His grace and mercy over me, and I realized something else. In my humanness, I don't have, nor will I ever have this side of heaven, the ability to wrap my mind around God's reasons. My finite mind isn't capable of comprehending all that God comprehends. (lightbulb moment) Oh, so that's why He doesn't consult with me before allowing circumstances into my life!!

Since God created me as a finite creature, He knows I could never understand the answers to the WHY questions. That's why He doesn't expect me to understand, He doesn't call me to understand. I am not required to understand all that God does in order to have fellowship with Him. Now that is something I CAN wrap my mind around.

The questions were still there, but the frustration of not knowing the answers dissipated, because when it dawned on me that I didn't HAVE TO understand, that realization was so freeing, and NOT understanding became okay. The fellowship I enjoyed with God was sweeter, and my time with Him was uncluttered.

My demands were swept away and I was able to see more clearly what God did require of me. He may not call me to understand, but He does call me to trust. I can do that. As a finite, sinful, broken person, I can trust, because it takes all the responsibility off my shoulders and allows me to roll it onto God.

So my questions to God have changed. I want to know WHEN--When will I go to see You, Father? When will You come back?--And His answer tarries in my heart: Not yet. Wait. Okay, I'll wait. I can do that, because the joy of God communicating with me makes the wait bearable.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.