• Barb Lownsbury

Connecting with God

Connection. There are many definitions for it. Some might consider it a contact they have that aids them in achieving some goal. Others would say it’s a link to someone or something that you have an affinity for. A connection could be a mentor, an ally, a relation, an alliance or even a yoke that binds you to someone else. Jesus is all of these things, and yet much, much more.

Two words I could choose to describe my connection with God is “mentoring partnership.” Jesus mentors me. He guides me forward and teaches me how to heal, to grow and ultimately to shine more boldly for Him. But He also chooses to partner with me, to take my hand and walk side-by-side through each and every facet of my life, no matter what. He doesn’t leave when I’m deep in my tunnel, alone and afraid. He doesn’t check out when I’m angry and railing against Him. No matter what I do or where I go, He chooses to stay in my presence always, even when I don’t acknowledge His.

Within that partnership, He allows me to work. Stop and think about this for a second. There is not one aspect of my life or yours that God could not do better. I have no doubt whatsoever He would be the most remarkable parent, employee, spouse, child, business owner, missionary, church leader, grandparent or single mom in the history of ever. Could you imagine knowing your surgeon was the Almighty, the very being who knitted you together in your mother’s womb? Or that your counselor was Jesus, with ultimate wisdom, compassion and care? If He built your home, think about how special He would know how to make it, the way He would be able to capture everything you were hoping for and didn’t even know you would want. Or if He ran the government. Our landscape would change very quickly.

But He doesn’t. At least not in that sense. Instead, He chooses to let you and me work on His behalf. He chooses to partner with us in that way. He decided to entrust us with all that is within our scope and range of influence, from relationships and careers to community impact. All of it. When I understand that, it brings me to my knees in humility. It makes me realize just how desperately I need His wisdom and guidance, and why it’s so crucial that I seek Him to lead me forward. And it makes me appreciate His mercy and grace that much more because unlike Him, I will invariably make mistakes and take wrong turns. I won’t get it right the first time. Or the second. Or sometimes even the 70thtime and beyond. Yet there He is. The patient Father. Teaching. Training. Helping. Guiding me forward. Encouraging me and building into my confidence and sense of worth. And just like a child who has finally mastered a new skill, I beam toward heaven and radiate deep joy when I know I’ve gotten it right. I feel His pleasure!

So honestly, when I think of fostering a meaningful connection with Christ, I don’t tend to think in terms of nouns. I think in verbs and adjectives. Words like joy and peace come to mind, or of feeling refreshed and satisfied. I think of being comforted, encouraged and strengthened. Most of all, I think of being loved. Lavishly. Richly and abundantly. An unfathomably deep kind of love that envelopes me in its protection and motivates me to boldly shine. At the end of the day, connection with Christ becomes a celebration of how amazing He is in even my darkest spaces.

What motivates you to walk with Jesus? Is it healing or help? Is it the need for wisdom and guidance? Or to feel loved and valued or to make a difference? Remember: to each of these things Jesus answers with a, “Yes!” and a “Yes!” and a “Yes!” He knows you need Him. Sometimes He is simply waiting for you and me to remember that, too.

FOR FURTHER THOUGHT: This week, think about a way you can connect with Jesus more deeply. Remember His wise words in John 15:4-5: “Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing” (VOICE). Making space to connect with God is the single most important thing you or I could do, and it is the only way to find true, lasting solutions and realized eternal hope. Spend time connecting with Him, even if it’s simply sitting in His presence in silence and tears. He willbe there.

PRAYER: Lord, You are so good to me! I am humbled by how intimately You care for me. I can really struggle with wanting to find answers my way—fast, easy answers that I hope will bring powerful solutions. I know they never really do. Help me to learn to let go of my need for control and to lean more deeply into what it means to abide in You, to grow that connection so I can sense Your will and Your presence more powerfully in my life. Even though my moments of pruning can be painful, I know You promise to produce abundance and beauty in its place. Thank You Papa! I am truly blessed, even in the moments when I don’t feel it. Thank You for Your constancy in my life. Amen.

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1314 Bourdeaux Way, Dayton, Ohio 45458

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