Tonight when I knelt down to pray there was the tension of a strained and akward relationship. Like I was a relative coming home for Christmas for tradition's sake even though relationships weren't well in tact. And I stopped to wonder why. I wondered why because all along the way I haven't felt as though I've been walking in a different direction. I didn't know I wasn't keeping up my end of the relationship. And as I mulled over the last couple of days, weeks and months, I backtracked my thoughts and where my heart has been. And I realized that my knowledge of who God is has changed, and I no longer knew how to speak to Him.
It started early this fall as I caught myself rushing into the house after an errand and throwing up a prayer for someone who had been on my mind. Life's little stresses had started to creep in and anxiety had a death grip on my heart - so I was constantly tossing up prayers hoping to loosen it's hold. And as I hustled about I heard a still, small voice say, "but I'm not a casual God."
The phrase haunted me for a while. I had been acting as though God were a casual friend - always at my beck and call. But He wasn't and isn't. And prayers flippantly thrown about were mere sand bags trying to stop a tidal wave. I knew I needed to change things around.
So I began to search for what I was missing. To better know who He was in order to better rest my soul (wrong and selfish motivation - maybe, but leave it for another day). And I read Job and found there the greatness of who God is. I discovered the ever so common sin Job held onto and the great perspective of his one good friend. I read Genesis and began to grasp the goodness of God - found not only in His creation, but more so in His character when His perfect world fell apart. I read parts of the new testament and caught a glimpse of how powerful His way of life really is. And on the journey went - I was reminded of who I used to know God to be and more.
Although this realization came little by little, it added up to be a great sum. And a better understanding of our Holy God gave me a better understanding of myself. It was like I didn't even know where to begin. I no longer knew what to say. I was all too aware of who I was and who I was approaching, and the two just didn't mach up anymore. And so the atmosphere of a rogue child entering their father's house seemed all too familiar. That's where I found myself tonight.
And while my story may end here, my prayer tonight didn't. There's a cause as to why I can approach the mighty God. There's a justification for me to be at His feet. I was just reminded of my need for it. And I'll use this Christmas season to celebrate it.
"Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help in our time of need." (Heb. 4:16)