I’ve struggled a bit to share this realization that God showed me several months ago, simply because it is one that really hit close to home for me and many of my family members. I pray that sharing this isn’t taken the wrong way, but I feel that God placed it on my heart to share with hopes that it will serve as a realization to those who read it.
So often I find myself caught up in the mundane and I realize that I am just rushing through life, especially my time with my Father. By “rushing”, of course I mean, not exactly making time for Him at all. We bless the meal with a generic prayer lacking sincerity and never actually quiet our minds from the issues pressing on us. So what’s the point?
A few months ago, late in the evening, I received a call from a close family member. I assumed it was our usual craft related chat, since we both have a knack for last minute t-shirt making or gifts, but that was not the case this time. She had just gotten a call informing her that her dad had passed away and she was calling all of the family to pass on the news. My heart sank for her and also for his family who had lost him, but to be completely honest, although he was my grandfather, I never really knew him. I asked her if she was okay and she sounded a bit confused about what to feel. She said, “He’s my dad, so it’s….sad. I just didn’t get to know him much, you know?” That’s when it hit me, the relationship wasn’t there. She was going through the motions because she was his daughter, but the usual emotions that should be there, making these difficult phone calls, wasn’t there.
A man died that day and it was sad. A father died that day and it was sad, but his children and grandchildren did not mourn for him like we would expect them to because they did not have a relationship with him. He was not a bad man, they just did not know him.
Isn’t this what the Bible shows us in Matthew 7:21-23?
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!
Reading that and experiencing the emotions, or lack thereof, during the passing of my grandfather really opened my eyes to the true importance of the relationship with my Heavenly Father. Is it enough to say a quick prayer over our meal or spend time with Him whenever it’s convenient for me? How does it make me feel whenever those I love dearly only invite me to visit during the holidays? So why do we keep our Lord and savior at arm’s length and expect Him to welcome us with open arms when we get to Heaven?
The man who helped give life to my family, and who’s name has been passed down to three generations, died and life pretty much went on unaffected. That’s a tragedy to me. I would have loved to know him and for my children to know him, but instead, their great grandfather passed away and whenever I told my daughter the news, she seemed confused and indifferent, just as the rest of us did. There was no relationship. I do not want this to be the case whenever I finally get to see my Father’s face in Heaven. I want Him to embrace me and say, “Well done.” “You’re finally here! Come sit with me, daughter.”
My heart breaks for those who don’t know Him. I cried yesterday for a Facebook “friend” who posted that she thinks “Christianity is joke” and she “refuses to live her life based on some book.” I think that I felt saddened most because I used to be her. I have likely said those very words because I know that I definitely thought that way. I prayed for her and that she would know Him before it’s too late. I remembered how lonely, empty and lost I felt back then and how fulfilled I am now that God is leading my life with His book, that once seemed so silly and insignificant.
The difference is in the relationship.
I have felt His presence and seen Him do miracles in my own life. I KNOW HIM and I pray fervently that each of you do too.
Lord, please continue to pursue the hearts of the hurting. Please help me to speak effectively to reach those in need and show them your love, through my life. Use me to carry out your will, God. In Jesus name, Amen.