The Price of Intimacy

I told the Lord I wanted intimacy with Him — intimacy that far exceeded anything I would know with anyone beside Him. I wanted to know the depths of His love that may only be discovered when one puts her hand in God’s, giving Him permission to take her wherever He wants. I longed to experience Him in everyday life, and know more of what life really is — to grow and blossom according to influences that were more than what I could arrange on my own.

I told God that I wanted His best, and I was willing to take His way to get there; I just wanted Him, and to know by experience that He was more than enough for me — far better than any other thing. I saw my need to go beyond trusting God when I was sure everything He did made sense, and I could be an expert on His activities. I believed that love for Him needed to grow out of the sacrifice of what was most precious to me: I prayed that if it be in the loss of all things, I would be certain to have gained Christ.

The reality that we will face trials, temptations and various forms of torture, focused me on Him. I wanted all my struggles to count for something: If I be in pain let it be for Him; if I should wrestle with sin and evil and doing good, let it be a fight that brought me closer to my Savior, one that made my bitter tears sweet and my broken heart secure.

Let me see all I shall of grief and joy, but let it be at Your side. I do not want pleasure that steers me farther from you, when I have so much closer I need to get. May I not be deceived by joy that springs from wells that I have dug, unconscious of the well of never-ending joy waiting for me in You.

Prayers only He could answer, only He knows how. The reply has not come as I expected. I requested the reward without knowledge of the path to get there. I knew I wanted God, but I didn’t know how much competition all my other desires were creating, desires that would have to be diminished for Him to be increased. My heart is only so big, and natural laws here apply. He must take over all, and I must surrender shares of all the real estate that’s currently in my name. I want Him to rule, I must offer Him the kingdom that I would rather keep to myself. After all, what other kingdom could I offer Him? My neighbor’s does not offer the parts of me He requests.

Surrendering my life to God puts me in a position of needing Him more than I would ever need Him otherwise. Unable to control, but forced to face, my circumstances creates the greatest opportunity to recognize God that this life on earth can support.

God is at work where my strength and rights are challenged. He knows that I need Him more than I need permission to clutch His rivals to my chest. He requires a higher cost of fellowship because the riches to be found there are the fruit of a covenant that divorces me from every threat to the bond between us.

His love is strong, but can’t be fully known until allowed to grow — and as it does, to reshape my life. I do not need to understand this, or expect to steadfastly support it at all times, but to trust that the God Who weaves my heart in love with His, knows me, and counts all my needs as nothing less than tickets granted me to explore His love and mercies deep.

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