I love the way the Message paraphrases the first three verses of Psalm 11 (Ps. 11:1-3):
“I’ve already run for dear life straight to the arms of God. So why would I run away now when you say, “Run to the mountains; the evil bows are bent, the wicked arrows Aimed to shoot under cover of darkness at every heart open to God. The bottom’s dropped out of the country; good people don’t have a chance?””
Have you ever tried to picture running for dear life straight into the arms of God? I know for me it’s hard to imagine what God looks like. I mean after all, no one has actually seen God face to face. The book of Psalms talks about hiding in the shadow of His wings (Ps. 17:8, 36:7, 61:4, 91:4). I guess I can picture being hidden and finding comfort under a strong and mighty wing..like that of an eagle.
As I began to think about running into his arms I thought about a few other things. My mind quickly went back to the Old Testament chapter of Exodus. In Chapter 33, Moses and God are talking. They had a relationship. Moses trusted God to lead him and to provide for him. Moses could have asked God for anything, yet he asked for God to reveal his glory. Moses wanted to see God’s face. God granted Moses his request but still didn’t allow Moses to see his face. He allowed his presence to pass by and Moses was allowed to see his back (Ex. 33:23).
After Moses, I thought about the disciples’ relationship with Jesus. They were hand-picked by Jesus for a reason. Before Jesus left earth to return to heaven, he spent a great deal of time with them (building a relationship). During his earthly ministry, Jesus showed us all how to truly love our neighbor and live in obedience to Father God. He crossed political, racial, and social backgrounds to show love and compassion to those in desperate need of relationship; the woman at the well, the adulterous woman, the blind beggar, the leaper, just to name a few.
God created us to be in relationship with him for his pleasure. As difficult as it may be for some to imagine, God wants us to turn to him with everything; even when life seems to get tough. In fact, in all circumstances – good and bad, he wants us to turn to him for guidance and direction. Our circumstances can be an opportunity for us to grow in our faith and trust in Christ if we allow him to draw us closer. Don’t ignore the challenges that come your way just because they may be a little uncomfortable…use them as an opportunity for God’s glory to be revealed and enjoy the warmth of the Father’s loving arms.
You may be asking “How can I be in relationship with God?” Well, it starts by accepting Christ’s redeeming work on Calvary. When you accept Christ as your Savior the Holy Spirit will come and live inside you. But it doesn’t stop there. As with any relationship, it needs to be nurtured so it can grow.
How do you nurture a relationship? By spending time with the person you are building the relationship with. To build your relationship with Christ, spend time reading your Bible and talking to him in prayer. I have hear many people say “I thought prayer had to be formal.” It doesn’t – prayer is simply holding a conversation with God. I talk to God like I’m talking to anyone else throughout the day. When times really get tough I cry out to him. Believe me, He is listening…and will answer. It may not always be the way you want Him to answer…but He ALWAYS knows what’s best and will never leave our side.
I have to add here that while we may hold a conversation with God throughout our day…it is just as important to be still and LISTEN to what God is saying to you. For me, I hear God’s voice (not really an audible voice….just a feeling I get) best when everything is quiet and still. It’s typically the quiet hours of the morning when it’s just me, my Bible and my journal.
So, how is your relationship with Christ? Does it need nurturing? Or do you run and hide in His arms when life gets too hard to handle?
Spend time connecting with Him today. He is waiting for you!