Last year I shared that God had given me a word to focus on for that year: “Possible.” It encouraged me and taught me, but about 3-4 months into the year I had kind of forgotten about it. It came to mind once in a while and I would think, “oh yeah! Possible!”

I tend to resist trendy things, especially in regard to my spiritual life and growth, because I wonder if they really help me grow or are just trendy things. I have had, however, a word or idea that has been prominent in my mind so far this year and that is “relationship.”

I’ve struggled from time to time as a Jesus follower, to stay close to Him as far as spending time in prayer. I read my Bible just about every day, I enjoy and am moved by worship music, I spend time with fellow believers each Sunday, I do pray but I’ve often avoided lately, whether subconsciously or by choosing other things, that solitary quiet time with Him. 

I know in order to have a good relationship with someone you have to spend time with him or her, have to interact, communicate, speak and listen, share. Why is it so hard for me to sit and pray? Frustration with myself is common.

I was asking Jesus the other day to help me figure it out. Why would I avoid Him or delay in being with Him? It’s not because I don’t believe in Him. He’s given me much to rely on, evidence He is real and is with me. It’s not that He’s not worth my time. Oh my, there is no one who is more worth time than He is.

Maybe it is partially due to disappointments or prayers unanswered, delayed, or answered in ways I didn’t hope for. Could that be part of it? What holds me back? Is it selfishness, wanting to spend the time doing what is enjoyable or entertaining, even though all of that is so shallow and unfulfilling? No wonder my heart squirms in restlessness.

I’m sharing all of this because confession is good for the soul, it really is, and because there may be someone else who reads this and feels less alone in the struggle between our heart for God and our sinful selves. Oh, to be set free from that struggle! Someday, when I get to heaven, that will be over. Until then, my insides shout the words of the apostle Paul, “I want to do right, but I can’t…I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway…I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind…Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:19-25)

If you’ve been in this same little boat, pray with me:

Father God, I’m so amazed by your patience and that you want to have relationship with me, with any person. You are God, Creator, Savior, King, Master, Sovreign over everything and still You want us to know You as Father. You are good and I believe You love me. Forgive me when I let the distractions of this hectic, crowded, digital world cause me to stay away from just being with You. Help me to make choices that draw me closer to You. Teach me and show me more of who You are. Thank you for Your grace. I love you.