Closeness… Is something we are fighting for now.
In the middle of fighting against a pandemic and the fight against digital distance disguised as nearness. We are fighting against too much contact, not enough care.
It’s also a fight for intimacy, a fight for normalcy. Fighting for the invisible, elusive longing of our hearts.
Closeness is necessary to being human. Relationships are everything, regardless of how good we are at them.
Even the most aggravated of relationships, fraught with fighting and empty familiarity, often stay together out of a desperate need for one another.
We inherited this soul-filling need for closeness from our Father.
He is a hopeless romantic with an eternal desire longing to be fulfilled. Closeness is the delight and craving of our Creator. Closeness with us. And he deposited that need in every human soul. The need for relationship is woven into each of our hearts. Closeness is an obsession of God and man.
The tapestry of Scripture has many threads. One of those running all through is God’s desire to dwell in the middle of us – His people. There are dozens of examples in the Bible of God telling us His desire. They sound something like the verse from Zechariah below.
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in our midst, declares the LORD. Zechariah 2:10
God’s relationship with Israel was tempestuous at times.
Not because he was fickle or changeable. But because Israel was a wayward bride, a flirt, a cheater, a distractible roving discontented partner. She ran with those who hated her husband. They hurt her. She cried out. He saved her. Then she grew angry at his slowness, sought solace elsewhere. She didn’t find it, she cried out. He rushed to her. Comforted her. She caught the glimmer of excitement and wealth. She chased it. It vanished. It betrayed her. She cried out. He gave her true wealth. Untold wealth. Just for the asking.
None of Israel’s misdeeds ever changed God’s desire for closeness. None of ours do either. The eternal desire of God is to dwell with His people – eternal, let that sink in.
How far would God go to realize His eternal desire?
As far as to sacrifice His only Son to gain it. He wove an eternal plan to accomplish His eternal desire. Nothing, exactly nothing, will frustrate nor prevent that desire from becoming reality. It’s that strong.
That same desire is placed in every person’s heart. (Romans 1:19-21) The desire for a relationship with God is reciprocal, yet it is poisoned by the refusal of some to acknowledge it. Many ignore or seek to refute that God exists, and loves, and craves them. To their own hurt.
That poison, that refusal to acknowledge God and His longing to have a relationship with us, seeps into our human relationships. The symptoms of that poison are disconnection, selfishness, isolation, anger, loneliness, conflict, and more. If you read the news – these are the symptoms that have been made worse in our time, especially this year.
We are being pushed together, robbed of the distractions that help us ignore our struggling relationships, made to be near those we have failed to connect with. And it’s bringing out the beast in some of us. It’s driving others to malignant isolation. Relationships are on an eroding edge.
But they don’t need to be.
God’s desire for a relationship is an ocean-swell of hope that can lift all hearts. It’s both powerful and pragmatic. It can energize and instruct us in our fragile human relationships. It’s worth exploring His desire to help us make ours healthier, more promising, more fulfilling, and just… better.
Dare we hope to experience the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of the love of Christ in our relationships? Dare we dream that relationships can be as good as advertised by God and try to make reasonable steps to connect, as our heavenly Father does? Are we ready to risk it?
Stay tuned, we intend to explore how God’s eternal desire for closeness can inform and impact our desire and realization of fulfilling, exciting, and dependable relationships. In the meantime, catch up on recent blogs for tips to better your relationships with God, and others!