My husband, Jeff, is in the USA at the moment. He’s attending a “Wild at Heart” boot camp. It’s a Christian camp for men run by John Eldredge and his team. You may have heard of him or his book of the same name.
My husband shared this quote by John Eldredge with me. He says that “There is nothing more important in the whole world of Christianity than developing a conversational intimacy with God”
I love that so much! Whether you call it conversational intimacy, meditation, contemplative prayer or something else, there is nothing more important or more powerful or more life transforming than learning to connect with God in stillness.
Sadly it has become a lost art in this crazy, chaotic, busy world we live in. Yet there is nothing in this world that can bring more peace, take away stress, anxiety, burdens, troubles and cares and set us free to live the life of peace, blessing, joy and freedom that God intended.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t have difficult or hard times but it does mean that we will have peace, comfort, strength and assurance in the midst of them.
I have been a Christian all my life. I grew up in a Christian home and my parents were, and still are, ministers. I have always loved and walked with God. Yet I didn’t have peace. I was stressed, unhappy, anxious and overwhelmed a lot of the time until I learnt the art of meditating on God.
I knew how to pray and that is an important part of our relationship with God. But a relationship must be two-way for it to be a relationship. If only one person does all the talking and the other never does, it’s not much of a relationship.
I was teaching my Sunday School class about this one time and we got them to do a role play to help them understand.
We asked two children to come out the front and we asked one child to tell the other child everything they wanted. And the other child only had to stand still and listen.
Of course it wasn’t hard for the child to think of everything they wanted “I want a new soccer ball, I want to go to Disneyland, I want an iPad, I want an iPhone” and on and on it went.
And then what happened next was unplanned but was a beautiful portrayal of how I believe God feels sometimes. We thanked the two children and said they could sit down again. But the second child (the one who only got to stand there and listen) in his child-like way said “but, but, but I want my turn now…”
I think that’s exactly how God feels sometimes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking God for what we need (Jesus taught us that when He taught us to pray) but it must be more than that. It must be a two-way relationship where we leave space for God to speak to us.
And that is what happens in meditation or conversational intimacy. When we learn to be still, to still our heart and mind and be in connection with God, we find that peace comes and stress and worry and all the cares of the world fade away. And it’s in this beautiful atmosphere we learn to hear His gentle, still voice speaking to our heart.
His words bring peace, healing, hope, courage, strength, answers to problems and everything we need.
My life was transformed when I learnt to connect with God like this. Instead of stress and worry, I have peace and joy no matter what is going on in my world.
As I said earlier, the art of stillness and meditating on God has become a lost art in Christianity. I had been a Christian all my life but did not know I could experience such peace and joy and deep connection with God.
The pace, stress and noise of life that most of us live in is not conducive or compatible with the life of learning to stop and be still but if you make the time, it is so worth it. Once you get a taste of how wonderful this life is you will never want to go back.
I’m praying this inspires you to take a little bit more time with God this week – no matter how far along the journey you are – there is always more. I pray that you and I both will make space to encounter His presence even more deeply this week.
God bless you, praying love and light for you this week as you meditate on Him!