A friend unburdened herself to me last month that she was scared to find herself in the midst of a dry spell with God. She doesn’t sense His presence any more. He seems distant. When she reads her Bible, she feels nothing. She once felt alive to God, close to Him.
Now she finds herself going through the motions. When I gently probed about what brought on this change, she didn’t know. She couldn’t pinpoint exactly when her intimacy with God, her excitement of belonging to Him had waned. She had woken up one day, all of a sudden aware that He ‘was gone’, as she explained it.
She asked me what she could do to get the old feelings back. We talked about the external behaviors of Christian discipleship such as prayer, worshipping with other believers, thanking God, regular Bible reading, journeying. She admitted that although she still attended church most Sundays, she had stopped both reading her Bible on a daily basis and pursuing regular time with God in prayer. She felt hypocritical and mechanical in doing them. Doubt about the efficacy of our prayers had crept into her mind.
As we were brainstorming and thinking about the practices of believers, God suddenly brought to mind what I think is the key to a close relationship with God. Neediness.
I feel needy EVERY DAY and many times throughout the day. I could chalk it up to my age and growing awareness of the fragility and incertitude of life’s circumstances. Or maybe I simply have no more qualms in admitting that in my own strength and resources I can’t do much of anything well, I’m just plain NEEDY!
Stop a moment! Isn’t ‘neediness’ the very essence of being a created being? But God as Creator, what does He need? Not one thing! To be God is to be self-sufficient. To be creature is to be needy.
O, the happiness of being in want! That neediness keeps me begging God, scouring my Bible for His sure promises of provision, guidance and wisdom. Daily, I journal about what I find in Scripture. Likewise, I talk about the truth of God with my husband, other family and many friends. I pepper emails with encouragement from God because when I point to God and His greatness, I FEEL renewed and strengthened. All through the day, I thank Him as I see His provision. When I start to dread tomorrow, I’m learning to rehearse why I don’t need to be afraid. When I catch myself worrying, I repent of my unbelief and ask my husband to pray for me to trust God. I’m in constant dialogue with God because I live out of the insufficiency of Maria.
Yes, His mercies are new every morning, because my needs are new every morning!
Financial and health needs, relationship challenges, work problems, decision conundrums and other suffering have turned out to be God’s greatest gifts to me. I knew that at one level. But listening to all my friend is suffering and trying to DO to regain her once close relationship with the happy Triune, all-powerful God of the universe scares me. I don’t EVER want to lose that.
Nothing compares to knowing God.
Where I used to begrudge any circumstance of neediness, I now THANK Him specifically.
Here’s how I have reworded Paul’s description in 2 Cor 12:10
Original: For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My version: For the sake of a close relationship with Christ, then, I am content and thankful to be given weaknesses, neediness, hardships and problems. For when I am needy, I am strong in the Lord.
For…..“The fear of (losing) God is the beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 9:10