Can I really talk to God so personally?

Prayer: I know I can use Bible language to talk with you God, but I want to be more honest and raw with what I’m wrestling with and not have to filter it through the Bible and try to find the right keywords to express what I have to say. That’s okay, right? The point is for me to talk with you, and I have a lot to say, or at least, to type.

Today I’ve had a lot of thoughts racing through, well, not a lot, but some racing thoughts. More than I wanted to have. I would have preferred to have less for a more restful day on the weekend.

I heard a good word recently. I know that when I’m in certain circles, that I’m known as Jeremiah’s Dad. It’s that way for many other parents too.

In a similar way, you God would identify yourself with me, just as you have identified yourself with good people who had faith in you before. Like, you’re the God of Abraham. You’re the God of Isaac. You’re the God of Jacob.

And, you’re the God of DJ. That’s me! You’re my God! It’s a personal connection, a powerful one at that! Let that sink in. I want that to sink in. I need your help to get that to sink in and melt my heart and change me. My heart is too easily troubled and disturbed these days.

You want me to come closer?

Oh, you do want to be so personal with us. That’s what Christmas is all about. That you God wanted to be so close to us, that you’d come to planet earth, as a baby in a manger, and so the Christmas story goes. What an amazing thing you’ve done and that we can celebrate every year this time of year.

I haven’t studied all the other religions and philosophies, but I’m pretty sure that getting to know God so personally and relationally is unlike anything else. To be able to reach out to God so personally and so approachable is nothing short of scandalous! It wasn’t too many generations ago when rulers and kings were unapproachable by the average person. I suppose we have our version of unapproachable people today, like celebrities or the uber-wealthy.

There are other faiths and religions with higher power, gods that do one thing or something else; there are good meditations; there are religious rituals. But they’re not personal. And I don’t know how those religions help when people go through a hard time.

And hard times do come; that’s the reality of the human condition. Even if someone get through life unscathed by pain or suffering personally, they will one day face their own mortality. And death is rarely ever a pretty thing. I don’t have any statistics on the number of people who die quietly in their sleep without any disease or any pain.

My Days are Numbered

I’m imagining that there’s a countdown clock on my life span. You alone know when that clock will hit 0:00; I don’t. Having gone to a memorial service of a dear saint who did pass quietly in her sleep, I’m reminded again of my finiteness.

The lingering thought as I drove away was: I don’t want so many people at my memorial service or funeral, though it’d be a good thing for those who are still here to have closure and show their respect. I want to be spending as much time as can with people while I’m alive and healthy. There will come a day when my mobility will be limited and my body more frail.

Like your word says, teach us to number our days (Psalm 90:12). Will you help me do something every day to reach out and touch someone? Yes, that’s an old slogan from a telephone ad back in landline days. Wow, how fast technology has developed in the years of my own lifetime. I think of the 80s when a video phone was a tiny 1″ screen with a slow refresh rate like twice a second. Now, we have wireless mobile phones that go almost anywhere and video calls at our fingertips. Who woulda thunk?

What will the world be like in 10 years? No one knows but you God. Lord have mercy on me, and help me to walk with you all of my days. Keep me away from temptations. Let my eyes be open to the way out that you always provide when I stumble upon temptation.

I need you every day, every moment. Thanks for being near. Thanks for being with us. Emmanuel. Amen.

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