Presence

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“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (emphasis added)

You have searched me, Lordand you know me. Psalm 139:1

To be known. To have an understanding. To belong, to fit. More than an acquaintance. A friendship. A kindred spirit. The person who knows what you’re thinking before you can even say the word. A deep connection.

It’s supposed to be that way with my Saviour. The connection is meant to be that intimate, that deep. Pervasive, all encompassing. He does know me. Even the parts I think I’ve kept hidden from Him. He knows it all. Part of me is excited by the depth of His knowledge. Ours is a deep relationship and connection.

But if I’m honest, this scares me too. I don’t always want to be known by God. I want to be anonymous. I want to be able to find the spot to hide out beyond where His eyes can find me. If I can hide a little while, maybe He won’t notice the stain I’m trying to cover up. Maybe His obedience request will be able to be put off. Maybe my latest excuse will be accepted.

But He doesn’t work on my parameters. His thoughts about my “boundaries” don’t really make any difference. He knows me. Those three words make my heart beat a little faster in my chest. It’s specific. There’s nothing general about it. No possibility of blending in with the crowd. His heart knows mine. It knows the things that make my heart ache. His heart knows the things that make mine cry. He knows the things that fill me with joy and peace. His heart understands my joys and sorrows in ways that forever link us. This is true intimacy. To be known deeply by the One who made you in the first place.

So, why run away? Why employ the avoidance tactics? Why hope to blend in?

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:6

I fear my heart is like the junk drawer. The catch all for things that are needed because there’s nowhere else to put them. But also the spot where the extra “stuff” goes. None of it really fits but it needs a home so it finds it’s way there. Too often my heart is full of the crud. The gunk that fills the drain. But I hold onto those things like security blankets thinking that they will provide me with some sort of stability, peace and comfort. In reality, they become an obstacle course of my own making. Not helping me achieve something but rather putting up road blocks between me and God which prevent me from drawing near to Him. I am no less known by Him. I am no less understood by Him. But when the junk drawer of my heart overflows, God can feel like He is a million miles away. Instead, my heart needs to be recalibrated. The junk requires a wading through. A permanent tossing out of all of the gunk that has gotten in the way of our relationship.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23, 24 (emphasis added)

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:7-8 (emphasis added)

Lead me. I often think I know the path ahead. The places my feet will tread. I’m usually dead wrong and end up in lands and places that are far from where I am called to be. Sometimes my wanderings yield a good story or a moment of hilarity. Other times I am completely and utterly lost. Turned around, directionless. If He is leading me, the assumption is that I am following. Sometimes I’m that two year old digging in my heels thinking that I know better than He does. I have a plan for what would be good and proper. But it is always better when I walk in His footsteps. It is always better when I cling firmly to the Hand that made mine. It is always better when I let Him clear the way before me. It is always better when I let Him lead, trusting Him to know better than I ever could. It is always better when I remain attached to Him, purposing and orienting my life around His intentions and desires for me. It is always better when I follow His direction and walk in His footsteps.

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