We recently had a birthday celebration in our house. Alongside the usual presents, banners and balloons we had of course a birthday cake, well there were actually two cakes but that’s a long story! But anyway, this one cake was amazing! Jam packed full of chocolate because you can never have enough chocolate right?!
On the day of the birthday the cake was opened, cut and left on the kitchen table. What started as a complete round piece slowly but surely became smaller and smaller as the day went by. The little nibbles and small slices taken out got bigger and bigger! As the day went on, the gaps grew and grew until there was more gap than cake left!
The cake had a huge bit missing, a piece that went right to the very middle of it and changed the shape of the whole cake from what was round to something not quite so good.
Reflecting back on this week I was reminded of Psalm 16.
In Psalm 16 verse 8, the psalmist says ‘I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.’
When we think about our Christian journey with God, we are familiar with the words that we should ‘walk alongside God’ or ‘walk in His footsteps”. In Psalm 16, we are urged to keep our eyes on God, to keep close beside Him and in doing so we will not be shaken. For me, when I think about walking with God, if I’m honest my line isn’t always straight. It will have wobbly bits and gaps; bits that look like I’m going in a completely different direction and then bits when the two lines are so close. The gaps if we don’t pay attention to them, just like the gap and hole in the birthday cake can get bigger and bigger, little by little, they can grow and expand and before you know it there is a massive gap! How did that happen? Surely I would have noticed the big gap? How did I get it so very wrong?
The gaps when we feel far from God can be scary, don’t be afraid to admit that you ae struggling. God knows all our thoughts and feelings, He already knows the deepest desires of our hearts, turn back to Him, ask for help to get to know Him better. God wants us to grow and walk deeper in our relationship with Him, to know and love Him more and to turn to and rely on Him when it gets tough.
You might be asking yourself but how can I grow deeper in my relationship with God? Strong and loving relationships don’t just happen, they need time and effort. In order to become closer to God and to grow in your relationship, you need to put the work in!
- Spend time with God. It’s easy to fill our time and before you know it, another day has passed and you haven’t spent the time you planned to with God. Limit your distractions, set aside time intentionally to be with God and to devote time to reading His word. I know I can be easily distracted when I’m reading if there are other people about, headphones can drown out the constant noise around us and can help us to focus on what we are reading.
- Bible journaling can be a really good way of slowing us down, making us take the time to really focus and concentrate on God’s word. To meditate over the passage of Scripture and to highlight and underline any words and portions in particular that stand out to you.
- It might help if you set aside and allocate specific time to spend with God, if you’re a morning person, maybe get up half hour earlier to read your Bible and pray before starting your day. Or during your lunch break, is there somewhere you can go that is quiet and gives you the chance to focus on God? When or where you do it is not important, what is more important is that you DO it!
- Put your phone down. How many times have we all said, I’ll just have a quick look at Instagram and before you know, you’re still sitting there two hours later! Social media is great; we love to use it to connect and share with others. But not at the expense of our time with God.
- Do you act in a way that brings honour to God? In a way that praises and is pleasing to Him. The work you do, the TV shows and movies you watch, the music you listen to, the charities you support, the things you buy, the way you act towards others etc. a question to consider and ask yourself - do you live your life in a way that is pleasing to God?
By turning to God, asking for help and intentionally reading your Bible, praying and seeking out ways to honour and praise Him, you will find your gaps will reduce. As in the psalm, we keep our eyes always on the Lord. The gaps and wobbles will become smaller and smaller and your relationship with Christ grows and strengthens.
How amazing and what a wonderful blessing from God!