I just want to thank everyone, I’ve been so blessed by the positive response I’ve been getting from this blog. I have always been so bad at trying to tell people about my faith in Jesus in person, being able to tell 50+ people at a time is like a dream come true to me. No kidding, I used to lie awake at night and cry about how bad I was at this. I used to be really frightened of Jesus’ words, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). Somewhere along the way, however, I realized that having anxiety about talking does not imply being ashamed of anything, nor does the verse even mention talking. So I guess I should have read it closer. But it does get scary sometimes to write a blog like this, so I enjoy any positive feedback I get. I have the same human fears of intimacy as everybody else, and that applies just as much to My relationship with God as it does to my relationship with other people, if not more so. I want the warmth that comes from communion with God and others, but I find the communing intimidating, and so often I (and all people) settle for some level of superficiality because truth and vulnerability are hard. It was hard for God, too. He took on human form, fought the same demons we’re fighting, struggled with the same fears of intimacy we have to fight, and, in the end, He won by becoming vulnerable not only to the good but also to the bad in mankind. He did this as a lasting gift to us, ensuring that there is nothing whatsoever that has to be superficial between a human being and their God.
It’s hard to do, but I really want to emphasize, if you’re afraid of that intimacy, push through it, reach out, and take for yourself that relationship through Christ. I was scared, everybody’s scared, absolutely every Christian who’s ever given their life to Christ was terrified at the time, and when you are dead and buried there will still be people who are scared answering altar calls for salvation all over the world. And we still get scared. I talked a few weeks ago about spending a retreat out at Prayer Lake alone with God. While I didn’t exactly set a timer, I think it took me upwards of an hour to get around to getting up the courage to get out of the car and actually go in the cabin that I had already paid for. And it took additional time after that to really get to talking and hanging out with God. I sat in the entryway for the longest time in the most uncomfortable chair in the entire cabin, worrying about pointless stuff like “am I good enough?” and “what if this gets too intense, and I can’t handle it?” and additional fears too vague to explain. But eventually, I did go, because it is worth it, and I know this only through a long list of similar experiences of working through my fears to get closer to God.
For those who get the reference, “Hey Jude, you’ll do.” Becoming vulnerable to God doesn’t require a better person. As Todd Agnew asked once, “how do you prepare to meet the Lord?” The answer is you can’t. You have to show up, as is, screwed up as you are and wearing whatever you were already wearing, give your life to Christ, trust that He was who He said He was, trust Him to forgive your sins, give Him your sins, and await further instructions from there.
Look, a lot of people get this entirely false idea that being able to write well means that I have something entirely unique with God. But every human being can experience intimacy with God. It’s free to all, and a lot of people out there are much better at it than I am, they just happen not to be writers. There’s poets in the world who write beautiful poems about love… but there’s also hillbillies with weak vocabularies who stay married for 50 years and understand the concept just as well. The ability to express it is unrelated to the ability to feel it.
On that note, I have a very specific request for feedback from anyone interested. It’s become my desire that anyone who walks in on this blog have access to a good description of how to build a better relationship with Christ – and that includes people who have never been Christians before. I decided the best way to do this would be to set up a sister blog that I could just link to in every entry that would just give a description of how to become and continue being a Christian. But I would like as much feedback as I can to make sure that I give a good description. Anyone with any thoughts on this, please email or FB message me so I can gather everything together.
(For those without a Bible, try Biblegateway.com (not affiliated with this site).)
Philippians 2:6-8, Luke 18:9-17, Luke 12:31-32, John 14:27, James 4:6-8a, John 20:19-20, Hebrews 2:10-18