“Jesus, You know I need You.
I know it too, and I’m verbally acknowledging it.
So, you can either reveal yourself or wait for me to beg.
It’s entirely up to you. The ball’s in your court.
One of the pitfalls of getting saved in a charismatic church is that I actually expect God to show up. If He doesn’t for a while, my prayer life begins to look something the above statement. It’s kind of like when your best friend is too busy for you for just a little too long and you feel upset that he or she isn’t making time for you. Except Jesus has all the time He wants- it’s one of those things that comes along with His omnipresence and the benefit of being eternal. So He actually doesn’t have the excuse of being too busy for me.
I prayed this, anticipating that He’d show up while I was in the shower or some other time when I wasn’t horrifically distracted throughout the day because that’s His way of reminding me that I’m actually too busy for Him. Then I feel like the jerk who said something mean because I didn’t understand my own fault in the situation. This happens nearly weekly in at least three relationships, be it a relative, friend or other.
This situation wasn’t any different. I’d sat down, put on some slow jams that I know Jesus likes and tried to write. I honestly believe that I write because it’s a fantastic way to connect with The Almighty. I plugged away at five different projects for nearly three hours, each to no avail. Not only did the writing suck, but God wasn’t making Himself known to me. Maybe He was playing hard to get. Does he do that?
Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I packed my stuff up and began the long, cold trek to my car. The December air was cold enough that it hurt my ears and lips. I walked faster, wishing for the first time in my life that I had a scarf. I was alone. There was no music or screen in front of me. Just the freezing cold as I passed in the darkness between amber street lights and along tan stucco buildings.
God didn’t say anything there, either. I wondered if He was mad at me. I reflected on all the sins I was aware of for the week. Nothing really new there, maybe He’s expecting me to have moved on or matured past some of these by now. I wished He’d say something.
I got to my car and flung the door open. I threw my backpack into the passenger seat and dropped in my own behind the wheel. I sighed as I reached back behind my left shoulder to grab my seatbelt. I could see my breath, even in my car. I grabbed my keys and found my ignition in the dark, that was an accomplishment. I pushed unnecessarily hard on the gas pedal whenever I could and out of the neighborhood where I’d parked, hoping to warm my car up faster.
I plugged my phone into the jack in my car and continued playing the same fruitless music as before while I drove. I started to pray. It was less coherent than before, but was along the same lines. “Jesus, what are you doing? I wanted to hang out tonight.”
At a stoplight near the freeway, I slinked lower in my seat, feeling a little empty and like I’d wasted the only free evening I’d have that week. When the light turned green, I sat up and as I turned to the left, I saw a friend waving at me frantically from his 4Runner. I started to roll my window down, but he waved his phone at me. I grabbed mine and dialed his number.
“Jake, what are you up to and what the hell was that look on your face?
You’d better not be sad about anything.”
My friend was driving home to his wife and I was on my way to bed. The conversation didn’t last long, but he mentioned all of the things that I’d asked Jesus about that morning. I knew what God was up to and I was actually okay with it. Sometimes, hearing Jesus through the beings who bear His image makes it easier anyway. Especially when they don’t know what they’re saying.