Sometimes the attractions of this world cause our desire for God to fade. Our distracted hearts grow lukewarm and apathy creeps in. The slow drift from the heart of God is often not noticeable at first, but there comes a moment when we suddenly realize how far we've wandered.
How can we keep our hearts ablaze with love for God? What can we do to abide in an intimate relationship with Jesus?
Twelve years ago I was walking through the grocery store with my littles. My son was pushing the cart, his feet occasionally leaving the ground to race down the aisle a little too quickly. My daughter was walking beside, helping me pull items from the shelf.
I was facing the cooler of eggs when I heard her start to sob … loudly. I whirled around, bent down to her level, and look into her eyes. I could barely make out her words.
“I want Daddy,” she wailed.
“Why? What’s wrong? Did you hurt yourself?” I began checking her over, looking for any sign of injury.
She shook her head and continued to sob, “I want Daddy.”
“He’s at work, honey. He’ll be home in a few hours,” I said. We had spent the entire previous day together as a family, she had given him a hug when he left for work that morning, so her sudden sadness seemed quite unusual.
I spent the next several minutes in front of the eggs trying to calm her down. She refused to tell me why she wanted Daddy. Her crying eventually subsided and we managed to leave the grocery store without further incident, but the episode was repeated when we got home.
This time the sobs shook her entire frame. “I want Daddy. I want Daddy!"
Knowing on this particular day he was working late, I tried to distract her by asking her to be Mommy’s Little Helper with the supper preparations.
When our food was eaten and the dishes cleared away, he walked through the door. She squealed with delight and flung herself into his arms. He lifted her high, gave her a big hug, then set her down. Like glue, she walked beside him to the kitchen counter where he tossed his keys and then followed him to the table. She climbed onto his lap and there she stayed, chattering to him while he attempted to cut his meat with one hand.
Suddenly, she stopped mid-chatter and turned to me. “See? I just wanted Daddy,” she said with satisfaction.
I relayed the grocery store incident to him, and we laughed as he snuggled her close. She just wanted Daddy.
Have you ever been flooded with such a desire to spend time with God that you stop mid-activity, overcome with emotion? When was the last time you wanted your Father in heaven with the same intensity? When was the last time missing Him moved you to tears? When was the last time you "climbed up into His lap" and chatted easily – totally content, totally at peace with the world simply because you were in His presence?
Let's ask God for this kind of passion for Him:
Abba Father, You are our God. You created us, redeemed us, and set Your love upon us. We cannot wrap our minds around the depths and heights of Your steadfast love. We confess that our minds are often distracted and our hearts often lukewarm towards You. We ask you to keep our hearts ablaze with love for You. May we be overwhelmed every day by the desire to be in Your presence. Give us a holy expectation to hear Your voice and be in Your presence. We just want to be with you. To the glory of Christ, we pray, amen.