Talking To Jesus

I’ve been going through a dry spell. The vibrancy of my inner life isn’t what it was. It’s not the first dark night of the soul I’ve had.

the-thinker-3I don’t know why God sometimes pulls back. Or is it because we put something between us? If it’s Him, maybe it’s to remind us not to get complacent.

So we will remember how broken we actually are, only held together by Him.

In our daily group reading of Live Dead Joy, I highlighted, “Brokenness is a strong, protective force. When we are broken before God, He acts in all His power (Ps. 51:17). Our protection and defense are all about Him. The contrite and humble in heart trust that God will defend them in the highest court. There is rest and safety in that belief. There is also blessing to those under our authority for they, too, will experience God’s justice and protection through our hands—as we lead with submitted authority.

I wondered if I was in the same state of brokenness now that I was in when it all started.

A week later, we had a Connect With God night. The worship pastor and his piano, no agenda, no formality, just everyone in their own way connecting with God.

I sat on the floor, thinking in between praying and occasionally singing, maybe it’s a matter of the soil. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus mentions four types of people: those who ignore, those who don’t last, those who are choked out, and those who grow.

Was I being choked out by my obligations and responsibilities?

Days later, it still swims through my mind. A notification pops up when I turn on my computer. A friend liked a highlight from Live Dead Joy, “Jesus loves it when we listen to Him. We are so distracted with serving that sometimes we forget to listen to Him (Luke 10:40). He reminds us that “one thing is needed”—the thing that Mary chose to do: sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word (v. 39). To hear is to be near. Jesus loves it when we listen to Him because it means we are coming close to Him intentionally, tuning out other voices to concentrate on His. Some of the voices we need to tune out belong to other disciples. Sometimes we need to turn off the worship music, close the devotional, put away the commentary, ignore the podcast, drape a towel over the television, and sit at Jesus’ feet—just to hear Him. Go ahead now and listen to Jesus. Make it a habit to hear. To hear is to be near. God’s presence is His power. Close this book … shut off the electronic device … turn off your music—sit down at the feet of Jesus, just you and your Bible, and listen. This is the one thing you need.

I took that idea and ran with it. I got out my Bible, pens, notebook paper and wrote a


conversational prayer. I decided to post it for anyone else going through a dry spell.

“The question I have for you Jesus is how can I be as close to you as I once was? I think my soil isn’t as good now. You say in Mark;7-8; 18-20 that, “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants so that they did not bear grain. Still, other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.

In explanation you continue, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.

I was the good soil. I heard the word and accepted it; from it, I produced much fruit. As I copied the verses, my eyes were drawn to “worries of this life.” Like Martha, I’ve gotten too busy. It disconnected, or better put, choked off my nutrients from the True Vine (John 15:1-17).

When I saw “worry” in the Parable of the Sower, the ‘worry passage’ in your Sermon on the Mount came to mind. You tell me, “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Yes. I’m learning it about relationships too, with others and my wife. It’s about enjoying your creation instead of merely working all the time in various ministries.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

True. I’ve never been without work for long. The church has ways to care for me if needed. All worrying does is add to my stress, and fighting fear drains my energy.

I fear I will fail or won’t measure up. I fear my life will go out of balance. That work will take over, and I’ll be the only one on the shift. Can’t keep up and overworked. I’m always on the edge of burnout. I am taking steps to avoid it.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God will provide. Just go through one day at a time. Lamentations promises, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

I’m holding you to that as I claim your promises here. Thanks for caring for me and talking to me today. Amen.”

I went where I was led as I wrote it. The Holy Spirit would bring things to my attention, verses, and I would answer the questions Jesus asked as if I was sitting there with him on the mountain.

It helped. You can try it if you’d like.

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