Her eyes sparkled with delight. The yellow school bus in front of us had its stop sign deployed and red lights flashing.
“Wow!” She breathed in awe. “That. Is. Amazing.”
I love the way life enchants her. As parents, we love watching our daughter live. We love listening to her gorgeous insights. We love watching her learn and discover. We love the joy of her perspective. She is wonderful. And being in relationship with her is awesome.
I wished my husband was there with us. He would have loved seeing this moment.
“Let’s tell daddy what we saw!” I suggested.
Without a skipping a beat she responded in a low and serious tone.
“I’m sure he already knows about the stop signs, mum.”
_ _ _
“I’m sure he already knows…”
Oh baby you make me smile. Your daddy doesn’t want to talk with you to learn something new. He wants to talk with you to hear your voice, to enjoy your face, to share your journey, to catch your tears, to join in your thrills.
And there it is. A reminder of an old lesson. A fresh reminder about my relationship with God. Because, her words illustrate a wrestle I have had about God.
You see, He already knows. Everything
How do you develop a relationship with a Being that sees your every move, knows your every thought, already knows everything about everything? What can you talk about to build a relationship with Him?
I understand prayers of confession. I understand prayers of petition. I understand prayers of thanksgiving. But, for me, all of those can be done from a relational distance.
A few years ago a friend of many years died suddenly. We met 20 years ago on our first day at university. We became friends instantly. Over time she shared her painful story with me and asked me to pray for her to have healing and freedom. And so I did. I prayed for her for years. She reached out to me in times of desperation and despair. And she would ask me about my God and His love. But she never could choose Him for herself. Instead she asked me to keep praying on her behalf. And so I did. Then she died far too young. The police report said it looked to be at her own hand. My heart utterly broke for her and her family. And I was at a loss. I had been praying for her for so many years. For healing and freedom. For her to accept God’s Love. Now I didn’t know what to do. In tears I called my boss and pastor.
“God exists outside of time. Can’t I keep praying for her to know God’s love?” I sobbed.
“No. You can’t keep praying for her. Her time here is done. She is in eternity now. But you can pray about her. And that’s what God always wanted anyway.” His words soothed and corrected simultaneously, as Truth always does.
And so I prayed about her. I talked with Abba Yahweh, my Daddy God, about my friend. About my memories of her. About how mad I was that she’d been through so many hard things and never found healing. About how her friendship affected my life. About my grief. About pain. About other people I loved who didn’t know God’s love and the life that comes with Him.
God already knew everything I told him. He didn’t learn anything new as I prayed and cried in the months following. But I did. I learned the beauty and power of sharing my journey with Him.
It’s pretty easy to have a list of things to pray for. We can rattle them off without much effort. Without a real relationship with Him. But having a list of things to pray about is a totally different thing. It is not something that can be done from far away. It’s something that puts us close to the heart of God. As we share our feelings, it builds the loving relationship with Yahweh we were all made for.
Today my sweet daughter reminded me of this beautiful truth. Remembering to take the time to be with Him and talk to Him about things.
How are you? Today, right now, is the perfect time to talk about things with Him.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. Come to me!. O my dove – leave your seclusion, come out in the open. Let me see your face, let me hear your voice. For your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (Song of Songs 2:13b-14 ESV & Msg combined)