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Snuggle Time with God

Why bother praying if God already knows what I am going to say? If you’re like me, you have probably asked yourself this question a few times. Why should I take time out of my busy life to tell God what He already knows?

In our modern technological world, everything around us bombards uswith messages that seek to keepus connected to our work—to keep us busy and on the move—so that we don’t fall behind as everybody else keeps moving forward. The notion that we should take time out, leave our busyness, and be still before God, seems not to be important. After all, what could we possibly gain from taking time out of work to pray?

And there lies the problem. To us, talking to God is all about us, all about what we need, what we can get from Him. But that’s not what God is concerned about at all. God doesn’t want us to pray because He needs to learn what help we need, nor does He need help in figuring out how to solve our problems. No!This Ruler of the universe wants us to pray because He wants a relationship with His children. Imagine, the Ruler of the entire universe, the God who with a single word spoke stars into existence, the God who created humans from mere dust—this incomprehensible, indescribable, unfathomable, uncontainable God— wants to have a relationship with puny little insignificant you and me!

But in order to have a relationship with somebody, you have to spend TIME—that all too precious commodity that we seem to never have enough of. This is what God asks of us: to give to Him that which is most precious as a sign of how much we value our relationship with Him. A husband and wife who don’t spend t ime wi t h each other can’t expect to have an i n t i m a t e , loving relationship. Parents who don’t spend time with their children can’t expect to have a nurturing, loving relationship. In the same way, if we don’t spend time with God, we can’t expect to have a close, loving relationship with Him—a relationship that enables His power to be manifest in our lives, and His fantastic promises realized on a daily basis.

Being a father has taught me how God desires nothing higher than my time. As a father, there is no more intimate moment, no more precious time for me, than when my children want to sit on the couch with me and have some snuggle time. My heart instantly melts when my children come up to me and say, “Daddy, I just want to spend time with you. Can you come and sit with me?” Requests like these I never refuse. As quickly as I can, I drop what I’m doing and give my children my time—and this time becomes precious moments and memories for me.

If my kids always kept themselves busy and never took time to talk to me, my heart would break. If they said, “Dad, I don’t have time—I have this to do and there to go…” or, “sorry, but I can’t talk today, other things are more important,” I would still love them and help them with their needs. But I would be terribly disappointed at the lack of intimacy in our relationship.

It is the same with our Heavenly Father. He values so deeply our time with Him, when we get on our knees in quietness, leaving everything behind, and say, “Daddy, I just want to spend time with you. Nothing else matters right now. Just me and you.”

So many times, the first thing to get squeezed out of schedules is our time with God. “God will understand,” we think, as we rush off to take care of things deemed so important that, if left undone, the world would cease to function. Yet this is the wrong perspective. God does not value what men value. He does not value accomplishments, accolades, riches, power, or social status. He does not delight in man’s empty praise.

Jesus once commended Mary, the sister who sat quietly and spent time with Him, over Martha, the sister who busily ran around working to make sure everything was in order. Jesus rebuked Martha, making it abundantly clear that time spent with Him is more valuable than busying oneself with errands and tasks. Jesus valued spending time with Him more valuable than acts of service for Him.

God does not need us to keep the world and universe running. Our lives are about a relationship with God, not about accomplishing a list of things before we die. The philosopher, C.S. Lewis, noted that our lives on earth serve only one purpose—to develop in us sufficient character to enter the kingdom of heaven. We can only develop that character when we spend time with the eternal source of power and the perfect character builder.

Parents often read their children like a book, knowing what they need or want before they even ask. My mother used to tell me that she knew me better than I know myself—and to my surprise she was often right. Even if I know what my children are going to say, or what they need, I desire a relationship with them more than anything. I want to have them come to me and say, “Daddy, can we talk? Can I spend time with you?” And my answer will always, always be a resounding “Yes!”

Likewise God knows us better than we know ourselves. When we approach the throne of grace in prayer, we will always be met with a resounding, loving, non-judgmental “Yes!”

I can hear it now—God saying to me, “Come to me my child. Let’s have some snuggle time. Whatever is your worry, just tell me. I want to talk with you and comfort you. Even if you don’t know what to say, I know already. I understand your groans and pains. I am here to comfort you.”

This is why prayer is too important not to make time for it. It’s what the king of the universe, Almighty God, wants from you and me today and every day, more than anything else. Prayer will take us into an intimate, loving, fulfilling relationship with God. So, let’s make time for it!

(Diamond Tam is a clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University and lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two children.)

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20100304
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Jul-Sep 2010. CCMUSA.