When I was a little girl my mother used to make me go to bed at what I considered, even at a very young age, way too early! She would tell me that the children in China couldn’t get up and play until I had gone to sleep. Imagine the burden I felt on my young shoulders to know that all the children in China were depending on me to go to sleep so they could get up and play with their toys! With that she would recite the goodnight prayer that I imagine a lot of children of my age group had to learn ‘by heart’. As I said it I was always terrified, it is a prayer that I never, ever recited to my children! I know you know the one I am talking about, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.” I could say the first part but when it got to the dying before I waked part I was not so happy! What little kid of four wants to die before they wake? No, neither did I!
There was a soap-opera we used to watch years ago called “As the World Turns” and I thought of that just now as I was writing knowing that as I sit here in my little room there are people all around the world including the children in China going about their business, what time is it in China anyway? I know that it is eleven hours ahead of us in the Philippines so it is about 10PM as I write that makes it 11AM Saturday morning over there! It is tomorrow and here we are still in Friday night with a glorious full moon hanging in the sky showing us his silver face and I know as I looked at it tonight I saw a smile. I think it was the smile of the Ancient of Days looking in my window at me standing, staring up and admiring his beauty.
The USCB estimates that the world population exceeded 7 billion people as of March 12, 2012 and the median age was 30.4 years in 2012 and is expected to rise to 37.9 years by 2050, so with all those people in the world how does God find me? He must find me because relationship requires communication and if He doesn’t know where I am how can we communicate? If you are really in love with someone, or just around family or friends that you love, you want to have the best communication with them that you can, to talk and find out what is in their mind and heart, to really learn their hopes and dreams and really know what is inside of them…I am speaking for myself here and assuming that everyone else feels the same. Perfect love DESIRES communion, the sharing of life together and it cannot be expressed from a distance.
There is an old saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”…I have not found that to be true. I find that distance gives you space to make a new life with other people…at first you may miss the one who is gone, but then you start filling in the space, the way a wound heals on your body. I cut my thumb wide open…from the nail all the way around to the back of it, there was flesh and some kind of yellow stuff, which I assumed was the ice cream that I love (fat). It was TERRIBLE. I went to the emergency room and had it sewn together. He didn’t do a good job because it was torn so jagged…but you know what? Now the scar is barely perceptible…That’s what I am talking about. You get used to being without that person. Are you thinking that I have lost my ever lovin’ mind here?
What has this got to do with any kind of devotion or making you feel better? Dear Reader, here is the point. 1John 1: He saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. To have communion with a person you need to be close, it goes for your relationship with God and His Son Jesus. Into our emptiness, Jesus brings fullness and completion (Colossians 2:9-10) Into our deficit, Jesus brings supply (Philippians 4:19) Into our death, Jesus brings life (Ephesians 2:1,5) Into our separation, Jesus brings reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11) Into our imperfect love, Jesus brings his perfect love (1 John 4:10) When you KNOW that God loves you completely then you can follow the advice of Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
When we don’t believe that God loves us perfectly, we end up living like our best choice is to take care of ourselves…and then, we become so busy taking care of ourselves that we don’t have any time for real, transparent and loving relationship with God or our loved ones.
I woke this morning dreaming that I was saying to someone “I don’t want advice, I need instruction”…so that is what I am giving you, instruction to stay close to the Father and the Son by praying, which is merely another word for “conversation” with God…just “conversate” with them…how can you be close if you don’t know them?
From having my mother try to get me to go to sleep to me trying to cajole her into going to bed and relaxing into sleep it seems my world has made a full turn around. I would gladly let her put me in bed and to sleep now, I would even recite her little prayer, the one I now pray over her every night.