Let me share what I believe God has been teaching me this past year.

1. How man is made (body, soul and spirit)
2. My identity in Christ.
3. My need for, and God’s desire for, intimacy with all of us.

This will go on for hours if I talk about each of these in detail, so I will spare you, and me, that. A nice glass of wine on my back deck and we can discuss what ever you want. No, I am going to just focus in on the intimacy issue in this post. Yes, you are going to have to read more than 5 sentences. Try it, it is good for you.

This is the hardest of these three for me to embrace. Why? Simply put, I have been hurt. Starting with my real Father, physical beatings from my step-Father, family, friends, pastors, children and so forth. Yeah, JR has been hurt by all of them. I am not impervious to cruel words, false friends and physical pain. I appear tough,calculating and frequently cynical, but that is to protect my heart.

I have learned to be those things, as a type of defense mechanism. Don’t trust people, they will hurt you. Don’t show vulnerability, they will betray you. Don’t love them, they really don’t love you. Recently a new friend asked me “How’s that working for you?”. In truth, not so good. I still got hurt.

This same friend suggested that this last year of personal pain was because God wanted me to get more intimate with Him. That perhaps much of what I have experienced, was so that I would depend on myself less and on Him more. I knew it was TRUTH when she said it. She was right, but why? Is God so really desperate for the friendship of a smart ass 57 year old man? I think not. So why?

I think another piece of the puzzle of my life was put in place today. I need to get more intimate with God, not because He desires my attention. I need to get more intimate with God, because I am going to need Him more than ever. God has been trying to get my attention, because He knows what is coming down the road. He knows the hardships I am going to have to deal with. He knows the pain that is waiting me. He knows the burdens I am going to be asked to bare. He knows I can not do it without Him.

Just last night before midnight, our daughter Jenn called. She works for 911 and got a call about my Mom. An officer was dispatched and Jenn rushed over there. My Mom is fine, she just was sleeping through the knocks on the door and phone ringing. But, for a while there, I thought I lost my Mom. All the thoughts that come with losing your last living parent, quickly went through my mind. Fortunately I am not spending my day with that now, but it will happen further down the road.

Trials are allowed into our lives, to draw us to God. If not because of an obvious sin, then because we have embraced the sin of independence. We think we have it all under control, but God sees further then we do. That is one of my sins. I think I am better in control, then allowing that control to be handled by God. Really, do I have a choice? God has always been the one in control.

This last year has been allowed in Buffy’s and my life to draw us closer to God. It took me a while to figure it out, but I now have to embrace this truth, because God is going to ask even more of me. Is He trying to get your attention too?

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