It’s a clear day, as I walk to the edge of my driveway. I bend down to tighten up my shoelaces and begin to stretch my entire body. Lunging forward with my hands on one knee, I stretch and tighten my hamstring muscles—left and then right. I stand erect, to stretch my arms across my chest, one side and then the other, taking a few deep breathes, and then in an instant, I’m off. You can quickly feel the almost intoxicating feeling of blood flowing through your body, as your legs and arms slowly get heavier. The fresh air and the breeze hitting your face, mixed with the heat of the sun warming your skin. Even the rhythm of your heart beat, in sync with the pace of every stride, becoming the sort of natural soundtrack accompanied by the singing birds and smell of fresh grass. As a natural side effect, your pupils dilate and colors of the sky, trees, flowers…and everything becomes more vivid. Your breaths become deeper and your mind opens up and suddenly you are in this momentary mind cleansing, euphoric state that brings you to place of inner peace.
Do you ever have those moments, when you need to take a walk, a jog, or a bike ride? I have those moments often when I need to think or clear my mind. Around my neighborhood, there is a particular trail that I enjoy; that ends with a breathtaking view, with a single metal cross that sits on the cliff edge. On a clear afternoon, the sunset is majestic as it hugs the horizon of the valley, and everything becomes golden in tone. I enjoy the combination of feelings that I have when I experience these moments. Especially, when I am alone. There is a small bench overlooking the edge of the cliff near the cross that always compels me to just sit and talk to God. I’m sure everyone has a place they can go when they want to meditate. This morning, I went for such a jog and found myself sitting at this bench, pouring out my heart—talking to God about the things that are going on in my life and in my mind. I found myself sort of negotiating with God about things—have you ever done that–Negotiate with God? I guess it is just our human nature because a relationship where we can talk to God requires a understanding of who He is. Often times we over spiritualize the idea of prayer when all God wants us to do is talk to Him. In fact, it made me ask myself this question: Why do I always feel compelled to talk to God at this cliff edge? What is it about the cross overlooking the valley, that gives me a sense of security to become so vulnerable to someone I cant see?
Interestingly, I felt God, with that small inner voice–speak to me and say,
“it’s not the cross on the cliff, but rather the cross in your heart.“
The truth is you do not need a particular circumstance to draw near to God. You do not need a cliff with a cross to talk to Him. Nor do you need to go on a jog or walk to clear your mind. Those things are simply the means to get to the end. Those feelings are the vehicle in which drives you to that place of sincerity. It is through those types of experiences or emotions that God uses to draw you into that “place in your heart” where you can be open, vulnerable, and honest to Him.
I find it interesting that being vulnerable with God is a lot like being in a relationship. In a human relationship, you put on a good face at first. In the process of getting to know someone, you naturally begin to share things about your life that you do not disclose in the beginning—like bad breath in the morning or your dislike for onions. Maybe, it’s the annoying way a person sings off key to a song in the car, or body odor after a long workout. These things we don’t introduce at the preliminary stages in a relationship because it is “not the best we have to offer.” But those things are normal. With God, it’s sort of the same way, except He already knows our flaws and our imperfections. He wants US to arrive at that place in your relationship with HIM all on your own; and be honest about who we are—BECAUSE HE ALREADY KNOWS. The real difference is that God is not judging or condemning; He is understanding and patient. He is kind and loving despite our failures—despite our mistakes—despite our attempt to be good. He already knows. In fact, the Bible says that “Let us the approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. Isn’t that beautiful?
So today, be open with God about who YOU are. So He can be WHO HE IS. God does not want to negotiate. He wants you to surrender everything in your heart and in your life to Him, because if God is not the Lord of ALL, He is not the Lord at all. He is worthy to be trusted. Trust the character of God with your life, your weaknesses—with everything. He will not fail you. If you want that type of relationship with God, then say this prayer with me:
Lord, I surrender to you my thoughts, my weaknesses, and my insecurities. I trust that You are who You say You are, and You will always fulfill your promises. You are worthy to be trusted and I commit everything to You. You know my heart, Lord. So lead me to that place where I can be free to trust You, despite what my mind or inner thoughts might tell me. Despite all logic and all rationale—You are greater than anything. Nothing is impossible for You Lord. Thank you beforehand.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.