My beautiful orchid had become a bunch of twisted, soggy roots and a couple of waxy leaves. I was ready to give up. Fortunately, I mentioned my sad plant to my daughter-in-law. She encouraged me not to give in just yet.
When she came for a visit, she cleaned up the roots and showed me how to care for the fledgling plant. Her directions gave me hope and in a short few weeks I am noticing new growth, both in the roots and the leaves. What I thought was dying was just a new beginning.
That’s often how it is in our relationship with God. Sometimes we feel so far away from Him and are unsure how to make it back. Yet, God has promised that He never leaves us, nor forsakes us. We may walk away from Him, but He doesn’t let that keep Him from pursuing us anyway. We see this promise in Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
When we seek Him first, we put our roots into the deep, rich soil of His Word. When we study and mediate on His truth, we recognize His voice. Just as in any relationship with others, communication is two-way. We need to listen as well as speak. We need to talk to Him and share what is on our heart. We need to pray for our needs and for the needs of others. But we also need to listen to what He wants to say to us. That first comes through His Word. As we spend more time in the Bible, we know Him better. Then when He speaks, we recognize His voice and are more readily able to hear, understand and obey. And just as in our other relationships, the more communication that takes place, the more we know the other person – their wants, needs, interests, personality, likes, dislikes, etc. That’s how it is with our Savior. He already knows us (even better than we know ourselves). Yet, we need to learn more about Him. That involves listening, reading, praying – communicating. He longs for us to know Him better.
It seems amazing that the Creator of the universe wants to have a personal relationship with you and me. And yet, that is why He sent His Son to die on a cross, so we could have relationship with Him. With all He did to make that possible, shouldn’t we put energy into the relationship as well? As it says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” If you have any areas of life that are lacking, He tells us to seek Him first. The rest of life will fall into place when we have that priority correct. That’s a great focus for 2020.