Pick the person in your life that you know the best. A spouse, friend, child, family member, etc. You know that person well enough to predict what food they will want, how they will react to bad news, how fast they will actually drive in a 45 mph zone. You really know this person, for better and worse. Now imagine that person was replaced with an acquaintance. Does not compute. Even if the person was a genetic copy of the person closest to you, time with a person and experiences are what connect people.
Do you ever get the feeling that God doesn’t know you? Yes, He knows the number of hairs on my head, but He doesn’t really know me, right? He can’t know what is best for me in all situations because we are not that close. Would He know what I would order at a restaurant? Could He predict my mood? This may sound silly because you know the right answer: of course He can. Even a child learns and can understand on some level that God is omniscient. Yet, many times I feel that God is either disinterested or unfamiliar with me. I have heard sermons and lessons that attribute a felt distance from God to lack of trust, humility, or reverence for God, which in part is always true, but I wonder if God wants us to simply realize He knows us, because He has spent a lot of time with us. Like, a lot of time with us. More time than we can comprehend. With those closest to me, I can understand motives and preferences a few levels deep, but God knows us to our core. He has spent a lot of time with us.
I wonder if God would prefer in the moments we feel guilty for not reading our Bible or praying that instead of allowing that guilt to simmer, like a close friend that you haven’t seen in a while, you would pick right back up where you left off. I am, to be sure, an advocate for reading the Bible and praying, but I am not an advocate for begrudgingly reading the Bible and praying to try and “fix” the rift between God and you. (There is no rift, but for the sake of analogy. Romans 8:38-39). God’s patience is not only to be seen as His willingness to prevent negative things, but maybe more so to be understood as His willingness to continue to offer us abundance in and with Him.
A primary struggle of mine is feelings of inadequacy. That people do not really like me or that I am bothering people or that regardless of any success I do have, it is just not quite enough. These thoughts tend to shut out a thriving relationship with God. In those moments I can choose to let the cynical death spiral take hold or I can remember that God has spent a lot of time with me and that His power is made perfect in that inadequacy (2 Corinthians 12). And I tend to believe that does not mean that one day I will stop feeling inadequate, though that may be true, but that when I do feel inadequate I will remember that my adequacy is already completed in Christ. Like a close friend, He knows us, He understands us, and He will continue to spend time with us.