This week I took a prayer walk with my girls. For about half the time my oldest daughter couldn't seem to grasp the idea that we were there to talk to Jesus. She continued trying to discuss many topics with me, which obviously, was a major distraction. About halfway through our walk I told her "either talk to Jesus or don't talk at all". From that point on we had a nice prayer walk, talking to God about all the things happening in our world. During our entire time I felt a sense of solitude as if we were completely alone, I felt the silence and I felt complete emptiness. Before we left I stopped and witnessed our church's playground completely deserted. The swings swaying back and forth in the wind with no children to play on them crushed my heart. I stood there with tears welling up in my eyes, at that moment, I knew what God was trying to say to me. I suddenly felt his broken heart, the loneliness that he must feel, and then, I felt him say "I miss my time with you".
This pandemic may bring new revelations for everyone, but for me, in the silence, in the loneliness of isolation, It's a new focus on giving to God not only what he desires, but what he needs. He has always provided my every need, he has always blessed me beyond anything I deserve, he has always been there when I needed to talk about my brokenness. But right now, I feel so deeply that God needs me to be there for his brokenness. He has taken away every distraction, almost every responsibility, and for what? Occasionally that's just what we need to realize that sometimes he is the one who needs us. Yes, we need him desperately to lift this pandemic from our world, to heal our land, but God needs us too. He needs us to focus on our personal relationship with him, he needs us to zero in on our basic everyday life and find that time to dedicate to him.
Church services are needed, they're biblical and vital. But what happens when there can't be large church gatherings? Does our relationship with God disappear? What happens when we don't have that 10-minute alter-call once a week? Has our communication ceased?
He misses us, but not at church, because we go to church. He misses us on a daily level, on an intimate level. Could it be that he has allowed church gatherings to be affected because he wants us to realize that without them he's completely absent in our daily lives? Is this okay, or do we need to dig deeper within ourselves and make our "Christian living" authentic? Is this our opportunity to do that?