When I was younger, I didn't really get the whole "personal relationship" thing with Jesus. It seemed so...Protestant. And I was certainly not familiar with that.
Well...eighteen years later, I think I am finally "getting" it. And it isn't just a sitting side-by-side-with- God-watching-the-movie-of-life-and-sharing-a-popcorn-bin-but-only-speaking-when-it's- a-lull-in-the- show.
It is more of the type of relationship where you invest your heart and energy to truly get to know Him, and you aren't just the talker and He isn't just the listener, but you listen, too.
I have been known to talk. Too much. And I have also caught myself (shameful lowering of head at this moment), to tune out a friend and formulate my next response. YIKES!! There must be a personality type that goes along with that...please don't say ego-maniac.
But, I have found, if I truly listen and wait on God, He doesn't just whisper, pass the route 44, and that's it. He bypasses the small talk and speaks directly to my heart...usually, filling it with the truth that sets me free--to be quite dramatic in a very truthful way.
There have been moments where He has not just assured me in our conversation, but has overwhelmed with His spirit's direction. So much so that I can hardly contain my heart from pounding clear out of my chest.
And it always, ALWAYS aligns with a deep truth in His word. He's not just giving me a whisper here and there to remind me that he's sitting in the same row...He's taking me by the hands and giving me His undivided attention no matter how loud the movie of life is clattering in the background.
There is such joy in that. And I get so mad at myself for allowing my circumstance to smother the joy. I think I get confused with joy and happiness. Happiness is certainly fleeting. It is finding a joyful moment in the flesh. It is a surface kind of feeling. Kinda like the happiness of sitting at a good movie with a good friend and enjoying a bucket of popcorn...maybe some m&m's too.
But joy...Joy is wrapped up in a deep belief in knowing that you are cared for, and that great things are to come beyond the credits, beyond 'The End". Joy is knowing that you don't just have a friend to pass the time with, you have a Soul mate who fills your bucket with just what you need.
Yep, after eighteen years, I have finally started to listen and understand this personal relationship thing. And it really is personal. And it really is real. And it's so much better than a date on a Friday night.