We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:16-19
Do you remember your big high school crush? You thought about him all the time, and you probably tried to learn everything about him that you could. You knew his class schedule, his locker number, his car, his address, his birthday, and many of his likes and dislikes. Your best girlfriends would run reconnaissance for you to find out what he was doing after school or where he planned to be Friday night. Am I right?
Why did you do all this? Because you were “in love!” (Insert heart eyes emoji here.) Maybe you truly were and maybe you weren’t. Maybe you married that crush, or he was the one that got away, or you were thankful that you were the one that got away. The bottom line, desire for him, feeling loving feelings, drove you to know everything about him. It also made you want to be wherever he was, what’s the use of knowing he’s going to be at the skating rink Friday night anyway if it’s not so you can happen to show up there to get his attention, right?
As you grew up you learned that whatever you love you want to be around. It’s baby’s first day at day care… sob… I don’t want to leave him…sob! Kids gone off to college… “Let’s go see them this weekend!” You live states away from your parents… “When can we go home for a visit?” When grandkids are born you may decide… “We need to move closer to the kids.” We humans just want to be near the ones we love.
It’s not just humans though. My little fur baby is considered a companion dog – meaning if I walk from one room to the next he follows. I never get to eat supper without a little beggar by my feet. I never go out the door without him scampering out with me. I can’t even go to the bathroom alone anymore; it’s much like having a toddler again. And if I have to leave the house without him I must command him to “Stay.” But I come home hours later to see him sitting up on the back of the couch waiting eagerly for me, and breaking into a spinning, licking, yapping welcome as soon as I am within range. He wants to be where I am.
It is natural to desire to be with those we love. To be in relationship. We were created that way. God is relational. He created us to be in relationship with Him and others and to desire relationships. But an issue arises. We focus on earthly relationships with other beings we can see and touch often at the expense of our relationship with our Creator. Those high school crushes captivated every corner of my mind and left little space for me to think about God.
So that brings me to the questions I need to ask. Did I love God or the guy? Probably both to some degree, but I definitely focused on the human one. Do I love God now? Does my focus in life reveal a true love for God or does it show a divided heart that is still going after other people or things first? I believe our actions and speech can reveal a lot about the health of our relationship with God. Do I talk about things of God or things of this world more often? What do my actions indicate that has captured my heart? My priorities will tell me what I love the most, and often that is self, not the Father.
If the answers to the questions above reveal something that bothers you, it’s time to get alone with God. Schedule some alone time to be with the Father. Grab His Word, a journal and a pen if you like, or just take a hike in the woods, whatever works for you. Allow yourself to communicate with God and start to re-establish that love relationship with Him if it has grown cold through the years. As you come to know Him better you will want to be with Him more. Let this song be the anthem of our hearts. I Just Want to Be Where You Are