Unquarantined: Draw Near (Day 4)

*This post is part of a 14-day series. Click here to start from day
one, or join in whenever you’d like.

“Should I hold this roll of toilet paper?”

Yes! You definitely should!”

The above is some stranger-than-normal dialogue that I had with one of my teacher friends at school today while a group of us (quite hilariously) tried to make a TikTok video for the enjoyment of our students, who are now learning from home.

During a more regular school day, I probably have a dozen quick conversations with my friend (she’s in the classroom next door). Sometimes it’s a clarifying question about what we’re supposed to be doing. Other times, it is to ask for advice or bounce ideas around. Often, we’re pausing to laugh at something funny a kid said or did. In any case, it’s just nice to be able converse with someone who is “walking the same hallways,” so to speak.

When I left school on this no-so-typical day, I stopped pick up AJ from another sweet friend who takes care of him during the week. I lingered in her living room, knowing that our face-to-face talks will probably be few and far between for awhile. Conversation over coffee is going to be hard to come by for the time being, I’m afraid. (Robert doesn’t drink coffee, and I’m not about to give it to any of my kids right now!)

When I started this 14-day blog series, it was out of a desire to deepen my relationship with God and also to do more than just survive COVID-19 inside the four walls of my house. I did not go into it knowing what the topic for each day would be, so I’ve just been taking things one day at a time. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I guess I assumed that I’d be writing about prayer eventually–after all, what better way is there to get to know someone than to talk with Him? That’s what prayer is. Talking with God.

To be honest, I’m not that great at conversational prayer. I feel way more comfortable praising and thanking God or praying His Word. Both of these are important aspects of prayer, but neither is quite as intimate as talking with God like you’d talk to a friend. You know, that relaxed chatter that effortlessly flows when you’re with someone you’ve known for what seems like forever.

I’m not sure why I struggle with this; it’s something God is walking me through. I’m starting to see that as much as I am a follower and a worshiper and a believer, God also wants to call me friend. The Bible gives us several examples of friendship between God and the people He’s created:

  • ” … the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”–Exodus 33:11 (NLT)
  • ” … ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God.”–James 2:23 (NLT)
  • “I [Jesus] no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”–John 15:15 (NLT)

I think that when I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing” it is speaking about the kind of prayer that engages our heart throughout the day–like close friends who constantly find a way to connect. Even when they can’t talk, they’re making mental notes like “I’ll tell her that later” or “she’ll think that’s funny!

Communication isn’t always verbal, it isn’t even always language-based, but it is always cognizant of the presence of another. Energetic or still, audible or silent, speaking or listening–whatever its form, a good conversation places value on relationship. It says, “I want to know you and be known by you. I want to share all the parts of my life with you.”

How different would my life (and yours) be if the next time we got good news, we shared it with God first? Sure, He already knows, but good news is best celebrated with the ones we love most. Doesn’t our God fit into that category? Shouldn’t He be at the top of our contact list? How about those nagging thoughts that have previously seemed too inconsequential to bother God with? Does He care? Yes! King David wrote:

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”–Psalm 56:8 (ESV)

If only my heart could be convinced that God truly cares about the biggest and smallest things in my life, the sorrowful and the funny, the spiritual and the mundane. If I could just remember how well He knows me–better than my oldest friend.

God, You are holy and You are my King. My mind can’t comprehend how You can be those things and also desire friendship with me. Still, Your Word says it is so, and I believe what You have said. I want us to have an un-guarded, walls down, tell You any and everything kind of relationship. I want You to be my first call when I have something to say and the One whose input I value the most. Will You show me the way?

Day 4: Today, make an effort to dialogue with God throughout the day about all things, big and small. Trust that He cares about the details of your life. As you reach for the phone to call, text, or e-mail, consider talking to God about it first.

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