A thought sort of snuck into yesterday's post, and until I wrote the words, not even I had thought about it. But the more I let those words run in my mind, the more I realized how powerfully true they are.
You were not created to need God.
It is hard, in our fallen state, to comprehend such a statement. We have grown so accustomed to needing God that we cannot fathom not needing Him. I'm going to speak for myself here, but I suspect I am far from alone. Any given day that I live, I need God's presence. I need His grace. I need His mercy and His forgiveness. I need His voice whispering in my ear, His truth drowning out the noise. I need His arms wrapped around me, holding me when I think I'm falling apart. I need everything He's got to give me.
And I can't imagine that it wasn't supposed to be that way. God is my lifeblood. He is the thing that makes me get up in the morning. The strength that allows me to face the darkness. The joy that lets me dance in the light. The forgiveness that keeps me from condemning myself, the Father that guides me in discipline. So much more....
We spend our Christian lives learning to plug God into our empty spaces, learning to let Him fill our needs. Running to Him in our depravity. Searching for Him in our doubt. We are told, taught, and trained that there is no need in our lives that God cannot fill.
That's truth. But it is the broken truth.
When God created Adam, and subsequently Eve, He created them whole. In the Garden of Eden, they had need of nothing. All of the things we search for from God in our present state was already present in them. His grace, forgiveness, mercy, love, life, promise, presence...it was woven into the very fabric of their beings. The dynamic between the people and their God was simply this: that they would love Him.
That they would remember to wake up in the mornings and find Him in the garden. That they would remember to meet Him for a walk, or sit and chat under the old oak tree. That they would take every opportunity to share their lives with Him because He had given them, wholly, life. And I don't know. Maybe it was this very dynamic that set us up for where we are today. Because in my experience, when you don't need God, it's too easy to forget that you love Him.
These days, we are a people who love God in the hard times when grace and mercy show through but when life gets good, the good get going and suddenly find themselves far removed from the God we loved just a few days ago. The God we swore we would never forget and here we have forgotten Him. Because for this particular blink of an eye, it doesn't feel like we need Him.
You know what? I'm going to go out on a limb here as I let my heart reflect on these words and suggest that there is no one among us who needs Him even today. There are times I think I need Him. Times I think I'm craving a touch of grace. When I've fallen yet again and I'm praying for His hand to hold onto as I try to stand up, as I look to dust myself off. Times when forgiveness isn't in my heart, and it feels like if it's ever going to happen, it will have to come from His. Times when I don't know what I'm doing, or where I'm going, or why and I'm aching for Him to come with some direction in my life.
As I think about these times, these times I continue to have and even have today, I'm struck by how they all come back to me. They all come back to making my life what I think it should be. They come back to plugging God into my story when what I really crave, at my core, is to be written into His. That's the insidious blah that creeps in when we start to think such things as that we need God.
Just below the surface of every one of these "needs," however, I see - in my life, and in the lives of those who share their stories with me (now that I think about it) - the true heart of the matter. It is not, for any of us, that we need God. It is not that we need His grace, forgiveness, mercy, love, life, promise, presence...these are already woven into the very fabric of our beings. We are still, all these generations later, created for simply this: that we would love God.
So all the aching, all the longing, all the empty nagging in our spirits that craves God is not so much a need of what He can give. What we really need, what we long for, what we crave...is for Him to remind us to love Him. We need to remember today to love Him.
We need to hear His footsteps trekking through the garden. We need to feel His hand reaching out to ours. We need to hear His voice calling from under the old oak tree. We need Him calling us back to Love.
Because that's what we were created for in the first place.
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