Being away from someone you love is difficult. In fact, you might even be counting down the hours until you are together again. You might have a reminder on your phone and you might try to call them every so often to catch up. Sometimes the communication is bare and minimal but you still want to do anything possible to communicate even a short message to the one you love. When something and someone is important to you, your top priority is to show that something or someone they are a priority. The best things in life take work, like: getting a good job, accomplishing a lifetime goal, serving someone in need, and sustaining good relationships. If you are in a relationship and you love that person, you will do whatever it takes to move that relationship forward. Even when its a long-distance relationship, your actions make or break it with the one you love.
Long-distance relationships are not ideal. We always plan for them to be temporary because we long to be with the one that we love. Just talking on the phone once a week is not enough. Texting is not as personal as you’d wish to be with that special someone. They don’t show emotions or live reactions to big news. The presence of your loved one is what you look forward to during the eternity you might await for the long-distance relationship to finally be called a “relationship”.
Have you ever felt this way about someone?
When we consider how much we put aside and devote to a person we love, we also need to consider, as Christians, how much we put aside and devote to God. If you have accepted Jesus into your heart, you entered into relationship with Him. A relationship is so much more than a weekly church service or attending a camp or conference. A relationship is ongoing and takes a lot of work. It takes an effort from both parties even when one doesn’t feel like it. And yes, we sort of have a long-distance relationship with God.
We know that God is with us. As Jesus ascended into heaven after his death and resurrection, He blessed us with the presence of the Holy Spirit. God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He dwells in us today and continues to show up in our lives. But as we know, the Holy Spirit is invisible to us. We cannot see the Holy Spirit.
This might be frustrating for some people. Some might feel like they are praying meaningful words that are going out into the void. It may not feel like there is someone on the receiving end of the conversation. I want you to know that God hears you. This thing called faith is trusting in the unseen. We can’t see Jesus right now, but He is awaiting His return to earth while in heaven at this very moment. As Christians, we trust in the unseen and put our faith in Jesus Christ our Savior. The Holy Spirit is here today to help us draw closer to our God who we will soon be with in heaven. Our future is dependent on this relationship with God. Lets stop and think about where our future is going.
Like a long-distance relationship with a human we love, we must also put time and effort into our “long-distance relationship” with God. Like one conversation a week is not enough for a boyfriend and girlfriend to grow in their relationship, we can’t limit our time with God to a Sunday morning service every week. Some of us might even only go to meet God for holiday services or special occasions. How can we get to know Him best that way? Seeing your boyfriend or girlfriend a few times a year would not help you two grow closer. It might just pull you farther apart.We must always be in communication with our significant other. This is done with dates, phone conversations, texts, letters, or simply just sitting down and talking when you have the time to do so.
If you decided to call up your boyfriend or girlfriend or a friend to have coffee, would you sit down for an hour and talk the whole time? Would you not let the person sitting across from you talk? Of course not! You would listen to what they have to say about your conversation topic. Listening to them helps you understand who they are and how they function. They may also have insight for you and could teach you something important for your life. You don’t know unless you shut up and listen!
We often do a poor job of communicating with God. Maybe we decide to sit down and spend time with God every day and pray through our lits of needs and wants. But if this is all we do, we are having a one-sided conversation. It would be like sitting down with your role model and not giving them a chance to share their wisdom with you. Imagine if you had a chance to sit down with Albert Einstein and you didn’t let him talk the whole time you met with him. Or think about sitting down with the Queen of England and not giving her a chance to speak in her awesome British accent! We wouldn’t do that. We would listen and take to heart what she had to say.
It is necessary to listen to God in our conversations with Him. We cannot continue treating God like a vending machine and asking Him for our wants. Lets start asking Him what He wants for us. He wants good things for us, we just forget to ask what they are! I challenge you to start listening as I feel challenged to do the same in my prayer life.
In our relationships with God, we need to put some effort into this “long-distance relationship”. Until Jesus comes back, we can devote ourselves to learning God’s heart through the Bible, prayer, and staying connected with the Church. He has made us for community. To best be in community with our God, we as the Church of believers need to devote ourselves to better communicating with Him together. How are we speaking to Him and how are we listening to Him?
A relationship needs words to grow. God gave us His Word in physical form for us to learn more about who He is. His heart is displayed through the many stories of redemption, justice, and grace in the Bible. His grace has given us a chance to have relationship with Him now and one day be with Him in paradise. We must await the great day when we will be united with Jesus. We must long for His presence. We must do whatever it takes to keep our relationship with Him strong. We must allow our love to drive us to continually communicate with our good God who wants to spend time with us now and forever.
How are you contributing in your relationship with God? It’s Valentine’s Day. This isn’t my favorite holiday, but is a good reminder of how I’m loving those in my life. How can I better love my family, friends, and God who I only want to grow closer with? Today I reflect on His love for me and my love for Him. It is better than any relationship this earth could offer me because a relationship with God is eternal.
Have a wonderful day of reflection. Sit down without your phone or a screen in front of your face. Take a moment to be in silence and listen to God. He wants to tell you He loves you!
1 Corinthians 13:13- And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.