In the Blank Space

As a mom of four boys, every day I have to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for how many times I hear my name in a 24-hour period.

“Mom! I need some milk!”

“Mom! Where is my iPad for school?”

“Mom! He won’t leave me alone.”

“Mom! I need you.”

Breakfast is the worst. They descend with sweaty heads, eyes puffy from sleep, and flock around the kitchen island at the exact same moment, all wanting something different for breakfast—completely unaware it’s four against one. They’re like baby robins that have just hatched in the nest, squawking to be fed and flailing their little wings to vie for the best position. Granted, we’re working on independence (“You can get your own orange juice!”) and patience (“I have heard your request, and now I need you to wait until I can get it.”).

But even on their most self-sufficient days, there are four of them and one of me. More than I’d like to admit, I grow weary at the sound of my own name, at being needed yet again.

A few weeks ago, while attempting to sleep after a particularly draining day, I was begging God to let my brain just shut off.

“God, please may I just sleep?”

“Or better yet, God, make the boys sleep in tomorrow.”

“Oh, God, will you settle my heart and head?”

“Please, God. Help me. I need you.”

I was basically pulling at God’s shirttails—my whininess surpassing that of my teething two-year-old.

In that moment, I realized just how often I approach God not just to be with Him, but to get something from Him. I bully and vie for position, hoping His favor will fall on me. I start my conversations not with a “Oh hey, how are you, God? I really love you.” but rather my list of demands.

While clearly He’s God and He handles it like . . . well . . . GOD, the human part of me wonders how my endless requests meet His ears. Does He ever grow weary of our neediness, how we come to Him looking to consume? Does He grieve how we grasp and grab with clenched fists, instead of approaching Him with open hands?

I can’t help but think how much we miss when we approach God expecting transaction rather than transformation, performance instead of His presence. What might it look like if we just went to BE with Him? Not to ask. Not to demand. Not to complain or consume. Just be.

But . . . do we even know how to do that? Are we searching and seeking, crying out to God like helpless children, when all along the answers could be found in just a few moments with Him?

In the stillness.

In the B L A N K S P A C E.

Imagine it: Quiet. Eyes closed. Breathing deeply—in and then out again. Nothing but the sound of your heartbeat keeping time like a grandfather clock.

He is there. Not a word is spoken but His Spirit mingles with yours.

Your eyes open and the world suddenly seems sweeter. Less frantic. You may not emerge with answers, but suddenly your questions seem less important, because He is near. And you are His.

My soul aches for this level of intimacy with the Savior. But more and more, I realize that it doesn’t just happen. I must intentionally cultivate and carve out space to just be with Him. Even if it’s only a few moments—a quick escape to the bathroom—I cling to His promise that if I “come near to God . . . he will come near” (James 4:8). And He is there, waiting not only to listen but also to pull me closer, to be near.

God has always wanted to be near. Over and over He’s made the first move to be close—first in the Garden of Eden, in a pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness, in the tabernacle, and later through Jesus Himself. God wants to BE with His people. With me. With you. With all of us.

And I promise you, friend, whatever it is that’s keeping you from drawing closer, whatever answers you seek, can only be found in the presence of the Savior.

In the B L A N K S P A C E between the earthly and the eternal, He is there. Just waiting to be.

 

Go Deeper

Are you wondering, “Okay, but what does that really look like to just BE with God?” One book that has helped me rethink and reshape my relationship with God (and undo some wrong ideas I had) is With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani. I cannot say enough good things about this book, so if you want to read more on this idea of being “with” God, this is the book.