Then Jesus said unto him, “Unless ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” John 4:48
We want what God gives, but we don’t want God. We will take both, but if we have to choose, often if we were honest, we would choose God’s provisions over his presence.
A few years ago a man came to me and asked if I would be willing to meet with him for breakfast once a week to see if we could develop a relationship. He was a man I respected very much and jumped at the chance to begin the relationship. So the journey began. We met every week for deep conversation and a cup of coffee.
From time to time he would ask me how I was doing and I would disclose a little of my struggles with him, but not very much. At that time I had more private-life turmoil than you can imagine. I was on a self-destructive path, but he never knew about it. To be honest with you, it felt that the only reason he asked me how I was doing was to not appear too selfish.
I remember thinking to myself at the time I wish I felt like he loved me enough that I could tell him what is going on deep inside my heart, but I don’t think he really wants to know about me.
One day I was praying in my journal and came to the realization of how I had been treated. This man did not want a friendship; he wanted a place to deposit his pain. I wonder if Jesus ever feels the same way? I wonder if He feels as if people only want a relationship with Him for what He can give them rather than really want to know him?
I believe that all of us want to be known and loved for who we are—and so does Jesus.
As I reflected on that, I repented for all the times I ignored Jesus, when I was too busy with my little life to ask him a personal question. I repented for all the times I did go to him because I was in trouble or I needed something. I repented of all the times I chose to talk about me instead of exploring the depths of His personality. I repented of my self-involvement.
I want to know Jesus for who He is. I want to explore the depths of his personality. I want to open myself up to him and let him into the dark places. I will trade the darkest places of my soul for the brightest places of his. Oh, I want to know him. I want to love and trust him even if he doesn’t heal my wounds. I want to talk to him even if he doesn’t respond to my pleadings. I want to love him if my bills don’t get paid. I want to follow him if I never am successful. I want to love him even if get cancer and die. I want to love him even if this pain in my heart never goes away.
Someone has said, “When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” Jesus wants me to trust Him even if I never see Him. That’s what I intend to do. And while I trust in the dark, I pray The Jesus Prayer—
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.