This is the final post in the “Can We Be Real?” series. The first post was About Me, because you don’t want to take a journey with people you don’t know, right? There were some great comments on that post! The second post in this series was about Craving Real Friendships – as in, authentic relationships. The third post, titled Perfectly Imperfect, dealt with our real need for a real Jesus. And this week, I want to talk about a real relationship with Jesus.
For me, I know that I get hung up on “the right way” to have a relationship with Jesus. You hear people talking about first thing in the morning, or how long you are spending in devotions or prayer.
Can We Be Real? Life can be tough. We are often lacking sleep, on the go taking our kids to school or homeschooling them, running children to and from appointments, keeping up with the housework, and the many other tasks that find their way across our path. God knows all of that. He knows the families we have, the jobs we’re in, the children we have, the time and attention they require. He knows the activities we are involved in, the people we help, the chores we do. He knows ALL of that. And He isn’t trying to add to our to-do list. He wants to fill our hearts so that we can be about the work that is ours.
Maybe our perspective is askew. I know for me – being real here – some days are overwhelming and it’s hard to sit and read through various passages. You probably understand that feeling, too. On those days, I don’t put away my Bible and say, “Never mind, this is too hard.” Rather, I pull out my Bible, jot down a favorite verse, one that easily comes to mind, and I meditate on that throughout the day. I find I often get just as much from a day spent meditating on one verse, as I do from reading an entire passage on another day. One of my favorites:
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
In keeping it real here, this post was supposed to go out yesterday, Thursday. Unfortunately, our son had some real struggles this week and I wasn’t able to get back to this. I thought about this post because I knew it was due. I considered it as I poured out my frustration to God – frustration that life can be so difficult for my son who struggles with communication issues, among other things. I considered this post because I knew I wanted to tell you that a real relationship with God is not just about spending time reading His word and listening to what He has to say to you. It’s also about being real with Him.
When things started to go wrong for my son on Wednesday, I began talking to God about how much the whole situation frustrated me. I wanted things to be easier for my son – for all the kids who struggle.
And that’s an honest part of a relationship – getting to voice your thoughts and feelings. Do you know it’s okay to do the same with God? Do you know it’s all right to tell him your problems, your frustrations and the things you’re struggling with? Do you know that it’s okay to be REAL with God? It is. After all, He created us. He knows all about us. And He knows how we’re feeling. He didn’t just create us and then walk away and forget how He made us. He is very aware of how we feel.
And while having a regular time of hearing from God is a very good thing, I think we sometimes think we need to have a “perfect” relationship with Him because He is God. And when that doesn’t happen, it can leave us feeling more defeated than anything else.
What if we dared to have a real relationship with God? What if, rather than measuring ourselves by how much we read in one sitting, or how long we pray, we focused more on making sure we spend time being real with God. And that can mean different things to different people. Maybe for one person, it means meditating on a verse rather than feeling the need to read through a certain number of chapters each day. Maybe for another it means to be bold and to be open about how we are feeling, and pour that out to God. For another, maybe it could mean time spent quietly, listening to what God has to say. As we do that, as we spend real time with God, He will speak to our hearts and encourage us. As we do that, we’ll find we’re naturally drawn to wanting more of that time with Him. As we are faithful in being real and showing up in the relationship with God, He will be faithful in meeting us where we are and helping us to grow in our relationship with Him.
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