Intimacy with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend is difficult to achieve. And that’s with someone we can see. How much more difficult is it to build an intimate relationship with God who we can’t see?
Five years ago, shortly after my husband and I separated, I’d walk my autistic son to the school bus early each morning then spend 30 minutes strolling the lake that divides my subdivision with the next. As the stars winked out in the early morning sky, I watched ducks silently cut lines across the mirrored surface of the water. I’d pace up and down by the lake talking aloud to God until the neighbors stirred, not wanting anyone to see me ranting and gesticulating to thin air.
It was the most special time of my morning. I have a difficult time describing the intimacy I shared with God in those first few minutes each day without sounding maudlin, hokey, or religious.
Bringing the Outside Inside
But that first half-hour was nothing compared to the last 30 minutes. For six months after my separation, the most painful part of my day was the eternity between crawling into bed and falling asleep. I hadn’t slept alone in 19 years.
I decided to bring the “heavenly” portion my early morning walk inside. I bought a cheap pack of glow-in-the-dark stars and stuck them to my bedroom ceiling and walls.
I never felt alone again.
God and I would talk—well, I’d talk. I’ve no claim to angelic visitations, but His presence was just as real and powerful. I’d talk about my day, my kids, my fears, my dreams, my victories, and my sin. And He listened without agenda or judgment.
It was the purest and most secure I have ever felt.
Like Adam in the Garden
If you’re feeling awkward at my sharing such intimacy, it is nothing compared to how I felt when I initially shared it with others. But as I shared, I realized that this type of relationship was foreign to my friends, a relationship forged through loneliness and love, fear and faith, pain and passion.
It’s infinitely deeper than any relationship I’ve ever had with a person. Any person. I think it must be what Adam felt in The Garden before Eve came. Just Adam and God.
I’m a bit ashamed that I kept God at arm’s length for almost 50 years before pain, fear, and abandonment forced me into the circle of his arms.
I don’t want you to wait that long to have it.
If You Build It, He Will Come
Step away from your computer, leave your cellphone, go to the roof of your apartment building, sit under a tree, walk on the beach, plant yourself on a park bench, look at the stars at midnight, row to the middle of a lake, play a piano. Do whatever you have to do to be completely alone with Him.
And just talk.
Pour out your heart. If you don’t know what to say, bring a Bible (a non-electronic version so you don’t get interrupted) and read the Psalms aloud. You’ll cry, you’ll rage, you’ll laugh, and you’ll question him. You’ll share your fears, your desires, your deepest secrets, and the things you’re afraid to dream about.
You may not feel Him right away, but He’s there (Deuteronomy 31:6). Then get up and do it again tomorrow. And the next day.
Intimacy is a journey. And God’s waiting to take your hand and lead you down the path with him.
What have you done to develop your intimacy with God?
Read The Intimacy Manifesto.