I remember the first time someone in church explained Christianity as having a personal relationship with Jesus.
Perhaps this had been mentioned before or eluded to in some way in all my years of Sunday School and potluck dinners, but much like everyone’s personal journey, I had to be ready to hear it. It was in that moment almost ten years ago that I craved it, understood it, and it rocked my spiritual world.
Since then, my relationship with Jesus has been an amazing and wild ride. Like a friend, He has been there for me with a shoulder to cry on. Like a Father, He has been there to guide and redirect me. We’ve had seasons when we’ve talked every single day, read scripture together, and laughed at private jokes throughout my waking hours. And yet, we’ve had times of silence, awkwardness, busyness, and distance. Sound like any relationships you know?
In some ways, our relationship with Jesus ebbs and flows just like the bonds we share with family and friends. Some moments, we are enamored with Him and simply can’t wait to call Him up to tell Him about our day and pour out our hearts. But it’s in those other moments that I struggle to remember that having a relationship with Jesus is NOT like any other human connection we have here on this earth. And that’s a good and merciful thing.
When is it most difficult for you to feel close to Jesus?
Is it when you know you’ve made a major mistake and are embarrassed or ashamed to come to Him?
Is it when you’ve been hurt so badly that the anger and bitterness create a wall of separation that you’re not even sure you want to break down?
Is it when life is going good? When you’re in control, feeling great, and can’t imagine needing anything or anyone else to make it better?
Is it when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed with choices and responsibility that even just one more conversation will push you over the edge?
Jesus isn’t afraid of these peaks and valleys in our relationship. He doesn’t scare easily and He doesn’t run away. But He is also the God who has given us free will and He will not force us to knock on His door. After all, that wouldn’t be a real and genuine relationship, would it?
So… how do we reconnect with our Savior? When we’re feeling guilty, stubborn, ashamed, or crazy busy, HOW do we warm our hearts to rekindling that spark?
One friend suggested to me the Arrow Prayer.
Perhaps the Arrow Prayer isn’t new to you, but for me, it was a game changer. When I couldn’t muster the strength to grab my Jesus’ hand, I could at least manage to send him a spiritual text message…
Be with me, Lord.
Forgive me, Jesus.
Where are you?
Tell me what to do.
Don’t give up on me.
I see you.
You are good.
I love you.
The Arrow Prayer may not seem very deep. It doesn’t take much time, and in some ways, it may feel selfish, but it’s keeping the pathways of communication open. It’s a way of letting your Redeemer know that even though you may feel weak or weary, you’re thinking of Him and you want Him in your life.
And He will do the same for you.
I was recently in a place where all I could rally was an Arrow Prayer here and there. And just like an unconditional friend, He showed up. He met me in my confusion with a song. He showed up on my doorstep through earthly friends. He spoke to me through a wise confidant. All around me, He reminded me that He was near, patient, and unfazed by my human emotions.
THIS is the best relationship I could ever ask for. I am beyond grateful that no matter what baggage I carry around, He is ready, willing, and able to take it, toss it, and replace it with His loving embrace.
Truthfully, as a self-proclaimed Christian, it’s humbling and embarrassing to admit that my faith isn’t always “on point.” It feels incredibly vulnerable to share that I’m not always grabbing His hand and singing “Kumbayah, My Lord.”
But that’s my reality, and I’m thinking that perhaps it may be yours from time to time, too. If you’re struggling to connect to your Jesus and you’re not sure how to rekindle your relationship, try shooting an Arrow Prayer and opening your eyes wide. He wants nothing more than to show you that He’s waiting for you and has been there the whole time.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
Live Life On Purpose,