I recently finished a mission trip to India that was incredible. It was so neat to share the gospel with many who have never heard about Jesus. But one highlight of my trip had nothing to do with India. It was the moment I walked down the runway at the airport and saw my family. My wife and kids were excited to see me home. Kevin, my youngest was bouncing up and down with excitement. Everyone gave me a hug and told me that they loved me. There is nothing on this earth greater than the intimacy of love I have with my family. Intimacy is a great need for every man, woman, boy and girl that lives on this earth.
Can you imagine having a child that does not respond to your voice, your touch, and your love? You call out to them and they completely ignore you. You wrap your arms around them to tell them you love them and they fight you off. You try over and over again to show them your love and they do not respond.
When my child was a youth I loved him…
It is I who taught him to walk
I took him in my arms
But he did not know that it was I who healed him
I led him with cords of a man, with bonds of love…
And I bent down and fed him….
My child is bent on turning from me
How can I give you up?
How can I surrender you?
My heart is turned over within me
All my compassions are kindled
This sounds like a parent with an autistic child but in fact it is God speaking in the book of Hosea. As believers we often act like autistic children to our Heavenly Father. We ignore His love or take it for granted.
Does God want to have an intimate relationship with us?
Look at Jesus on the hilltop overlooking Jerusalem:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ….how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but you were not willing (Matthew 23:37NKJV)
Or again to the church at Laodicea:
Behold I stand at the door and knock! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door and I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me. (Rev 3:20 ESV)
But His children ignore him. They are spiritually autistic.
Richard Foster in his book Prayer Finding the Heart’s True Home tells the story of a dad who was shopping in the mall with his 2 year old son. The child was in a particularly cantankerous mood, fussing and fuming. The frustrated father tried everything to quiet his son, but nothing seemed to help. The child simply would not obey. Then, under some special inspiration, the father scooped up his son and, holding him close to his chest, began singing an impromptu love song. None of the words rhymed. He sang off key. And yet, as best he could, this father began sharing his heart. “I love you,” he sang. “I’m so glad you’re my boy. You make me happy. I like the way you laugh.” On they went from one store to the next. Quietly the father continued singing off key and making up words that did not rhyme. The child relaxed and became still, listening to this strange and wonderful song. Finally, they finished shopping and went to the car. As the father opened the door and prepared to buckle his son into the car seat, the child lifted his head and said simply, “Sing it to me again, Daddy! Sing it to me again!”
My prayer is that today you will stop fussing and fuming. Quit the stressing and worrying. Pull away for a few moments from the busyness of the world and take time to rest in the Lord and His love. Listen to the plea of our Savior. He is calling out to you. The incredible and amazing truth is that He wants to spend time with you! Go ahead, open the door of your heart and life and let Him fellowship with you!