Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Most Important Relationship of All

The first time I realized God was speaking to me, and I knew it was Him, I was 22 years old. I had spent the previous several months lying on my bed at night and crying out to Him. “Lord, I want to know that you’re real. Show me that you’re real. I know there is more to you than what I know.”  That cry of my heart went up over and over again.  I didn't see any immediate changes. But eventually, God began to work.  I liked to walk and pray, and so one fall day I was out walking in one of the neighborhoods of our college town.  Leaves were turning colors and crunching underfoot.  The sun shone and the air was crisp.  I’ll never forget it.  As I walked along I was fervently praying and in the middle of my prayer these words would slip out, “I want you to love me and serve me.” Embarrassed, I’d correct myself and repent of my own self-centeredness. “I’m sorry, Lord. I want to love you and serve you.”  This happened over and over.  I’m so selfish I can’t even pray right, I thought ashamedly. The funny thing was, as I walked along I realized that I had done this same thing quite a bit over the past several months and I was sincerely questioning myself.  What was my problem? All of a sudden it hit me. I almost screamed out loud! “Oh dear God! I think You are saying that to me!!”  At this revelation, my heart accelerated and I came to a sudden stop on the sidewalk.  I began gushing, “Of course, Lord. I will love you and serve you!!”

That was almost 25 years ago and the beginning of what has become the most precious relationship of my life.  A couple of people have asked me recently to share about how I have built my relationship with the Lord over the years, so today I’m starting a blog series on that topic.

The first lesson I learned was that God hears us when we cry out to Him.  He responds in His way in His time, but He responds.  And He loves hunger and desperation.  This was a good reminder to me to stay hungry.

Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

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