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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Bible in a Social Media World

What did we ever do before Facebook? It’s fascinating just what a role social media has in our lives today—tweeting, status updates, blogs we follow; even the long lost friends we’re suddenly back in contact with. Christians use it for fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism purposes.

Yet, at what point does it takeover? At what point does it begin to usurp God and become part of Satan’s grand plan to dilute our worship, growth, and usefulness for God’s purposes?

Well, we could start with the Bible.

Does the Bible run second to Facebook or Twitter from a personal discipleship viewpoint? We ought to believe that being Christian is being a Bible-believing or Bible-reading Christian—there is no other sort.

We could continue by seeing how far social media takes us away from our families and contact with real people in a face-to-face sort of way. Do we prioritise a rectangular screen and a keyboard over the needs of others in our midst that rely on us?

If we agree that Facebook and Twitter and the like are good, we, imperfect human beings, will take those aspects of the good and warp them if our desires aren’t reined in.

Steps to Bible-First Christianity in a Social Media World

What are some ways that can help us re-centre on the Bible first?

First of all, we can commit to some Bible reading plan—a discipline whereby we commit to God that the Bible will come first, before our time on social media.

Next we could ensure we spend some time in prayer and quiet consolation, contemplating the day ahead, that’s in progress, or just gone—choosing to gain bearing and perspective from our Lord who is uniquely interested in our journey. It may surprise us to discover afresh—not everyone we socialise with on social media sites is that interested in us, personally. It’s a poorer form of fellowship.

God-fellowship will always be superior. This is because God speaks in amplified ways through and into our spirits when we venture, personally, with him—without others. Nobody grows spiritually without some alone-time with God.

If we find we are glued to the computer screen, magnetised to updates as they come in, or anxious to post or assimilate certain posts—and we find we spend more than two hours a day on our preferred social media—we might consider limiting our time to one full hour or two half-hour blocks.


The social media revolution has many good things about it. But it can significantly detract from the spiritual life. Bible-believing Christians (are there any other kind?) ought to reflect, often, on the competing forces that dissuade them from the Bible so as to be edified by other means—the Bible must come first.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, November 28, 2011

5 Ways to Make a Good Day

How do you define a good day? What makes reflecting of an evening a joy as opposed to a frustration? Surely we can make a list of five things that may help classify any day as good.

Good days can have any of the following components:

1. Spend Time with God

Any day where we can spend time with God, and this means any and every day, is a good day. It therefore contends toward our understanding: every day is good.

But we need to make it good, for we don’t naturally practice the Presence of God, do we? Some may have it as a gift but the vast many don’t.

For most, spending time with God will be a deliberate act where part of the day is spent in prayer. Then, for some, it means continually abiding in the Lord most moments of each day. The latter is preferred.

When God is felt present it makes for a good day.

2. Love Another Person

Is there a better objective in life, apart from loving God, than loving another person; especially one in need? Our opportunity is to plan ahead for the person we may love in a particular way, as well as to refine the instinct in the preparedness to love at a moment’s notice.

One abides as part of a plan. The other is acting on a Spirit-led urge to do something lovely or kind or compassionate that wouldn’t happen if we weren’t around. A day where we blessed someone should be considered a good day in anyone’s book.

3. Learn Something New about Ourselves

Life is the learning ground. If there is a purpose in life, as far as our lives are concerned regarding each and every day, it has to be centred in the objective of learning.

Learning something new about ourselves, or perhaps relearning an old truth, is the grace of humility as we allow God the divine decency of reaching into our lives, with wisdom, power, and truth.

God loves us in this: we have freedom to accept learning or reject it. The former redeems blessing; the latter, cursing.

It’s a good day when we become aware of, or learn, something God wants us to know.

4. Serve In Some Useful Capacity

Work has a specific function and rewards us with joy—effort makes rest worthwhile. When we’re extensively bored or trudge life without purpose we become sullen, disinterested, de-motivated, and ultimately depressed.

Serving in some useful capacity has a world of creativity about it. There are a thousand opportunities each day to serve. When we serve we choose for joy and that makes it a good day.

5. Share the Essence Of God with Someone

Conversations about God, or times when spiritual concepts are explored, enlighten the hearts of those privy to the discussion—both can be blessed.

And yet, to share the essence of God with someone is not limited to words and conversations; it can be an act or a kind thought, something even unsaid. Sharing the essence of God is simply being a light in the darkness; being such a light has myriad form.

Times when we’re part of God’s miraculous plan always make for a good day.


Good days shower us with an abundance of cathartic feeling. As we reflect, enjoying thought for blessing, we’re blessed even more. This propels us into the next day, and the next.

Good days are started gratefully; they continue in peace; and they end in a reflection of faithfulness—God is good. Good days make us happy to be alive.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Negotiating Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Impossible situations are there for all to bear. Achieving forbearance, though, can seem a maddening prospect when all we can see are options to attack protagonists or curl up in the foetal position.

Have you ever noticed that conflict arrives in threes (or more)? We’re not confounded by one problem, but several, and it takes just one of these problems to seem genuinely insurmountable and we’re bamboozled.

We derive hope, however, when we understand everyone feels this way from time to time—some situations cannot be avoided, just as some situations cannot be resolved.

Negotiating the Impossible

We may logically think that negotiation is only possible when win/win outcomes are to be achieved.

But, when situations are so diametrically opposed, as is the case of two warring sides, both with their non-negotiables, pressure builds to breaking point—two rocks to shatter as they collide—in an instant. How do we reconcile such untenable conditions?

Neither they nor we can budge right now—but it is not hopeless.

Emotions deride and deceive us—both theirs and ours. Negotiating the impossible cannot be done in such extraneous circumstances. Level heads are needed, with space and time the generous portion for reason to intercede.

When we’re caught between a rock and a hard place, especially when our minds are in a chaotic hiatus verging on a moment’s insanity, the best place is indecision.

Some moments just cannot be redeemed.

Some relationships, during those moments, are on a wing and a prayer. They’re at the full disposal of the Lord, and surely all we can do is trust God to guide us in not doing anything stupid.

Holding Out Hope Despite the Hopelessness Felt

We can know by faith, by the times that such an above intercession arrived, one encased in the wisdom of earlier indecision, that hope for such hopeless situations will appear—usually by means and results beyond our perception or prediction.

And if we don’t know it by personal faith, we can know it by the fact it has occurred in others’ lives.

By deferring decisions to communicate in haste, frustration, and anger, leaving good sense behind, we will buy ourselves both protection from regret and options to deal another day with no barriers-from-hurt (theirs or ours) in our way.

Sometimes it’s a case of just saying, “I don’t want to discuss something so important when we’re both not of a right mind to do it—it’s not fair on either of us, others, or the situation.” There will be times, though, when we cannot afford to say such things.

Negotiating between a rock and a hard place is a necessary life skill. There’s wisdom in accepting situational chaos and choosing for indecision when emotions can’t be trusted. Things will turn out okay if we maintain the poise of faith.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Value of Originality In Marriage

It’s what you signed up for: to be the single-most valuable person in your partner’s life, and to share a bond unique to all humankind. Marriage was designed to be a creation of only its own likeness—original to the specifications engineered by both partners, and God.

The Problem of Comparison

Not many will perhaps argue with the specificity to be accorded marriage, but most of us have found ways to determine what marriage is and what it isn’t.

Our families of origin, those families of our friends, marriages we were inspired by, and marriages we deplored, all influence—by significance and number, very greatly—our perceptions of what is mandatory, preferable, and even permissible, within our marriages.

There are, therefore, subtle yet powerful voices from the past speaking into a present and future which either welcomes such voices or is sickened by them.

The problem of comparison is that an image for marriage that works well in certain situations doesn’t work for all in all situations—not even close. The comparative perception tends to screen out important snippets of information that preclude those images from working, because the voice of envy we listen to speaks more to an unmet need that can’t be satisfied in marriage.

We expect too much from our partners if we look to them to meet all our needs.

Determining an Original Plan

There is a vast freedom that exists in marriage so far as two people becoming one is concerned.

That freedom extends past those voices of envy—the limited perceptions of the relationships we compare with—into the measureless unknown of our uncreated or now-to-be-created futures together. Only as two people, both individuals of equal importance, knowing what is important to them, individually, can a marriage take on the unique significance God has destined for it.

Determining an original plan—one that’s changeable; pliable to change as each partner changes; and, malleable to the circumstances as they change—is a basic task of every married couple. And if they should accept such a task, freeing the other to determine, by themselves, what is important, both shall be blessed.


Each marriage, like a fingerprint or a sequence of DNA, has the right and privilege of being unique. It is distinctive in a class of commonality; known as unknown; recognised to only two people—and God. Freedom exists in the unique identification within each and every marriage under God.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Gratitude Problem

Every blessed person might relate: the knowledge of blessing, the deportment of privilege, the transient adventure of real hope; yet, the presence of complaint, the attitude of lack, the compromise of comparison. Thankfulness and complaint coexist.

There is indeed a gratitude problem and it sweeps the globe to everywhere there is material blessing. We fully know we’re blessed, but gratitude is still not natural.

The desperately poor are not occasioned by such a problem; theirs is of real lack. Real lack harbours gratitude for the very breath of life.

Classic Double-Mindedness

The devil gets us no better way than by a volley of goodness; a complicit array of abundance that spoils us.

When we feast on a diet so rich in material nutrients—such as the case in our Western environments—at times there is the diminishment in our uptake of spiritual nutrients.

There are just too many options and spiritual veracity is lost in the dilution of it all.

It would be more accurate to say, rather than double-mindedness, myriad-mindedness; for when we are marooned far from gratitude in the opulent dining hall of materialism, there is a war where it appears more than two sides are fighting. We wage a spiritual war with the flesh, but the flesh is armed—these times—with detachments of bazooka-wielding gifts of material abundance. Unless we look past the material we shall be captured by it; there, into the abyss of the spoiled spirit, we go.

Double-mindedness, as James 1:7-8 instructs, reconciles no sense of blessing as we are caught in the intrigues of spiritual battle against a foe that seduces us at a level of our minds and hearts.

Gratitude can only be afforded the single-minded.

Now we can begin to see just the start of the problem; how many people are skilfully or intentionally single-minded on matters of virtue? Too many spiritual people are battle weary at the point of dilution, though their outer veneer shows it not. Who cannot relate?

Spiritual Warfare Pits Dilution Against Gratitude

What an irony this is!

Identification of a great many warring things is by continual spiritual designation. Perhaps it’s a glowing spiritual irony that this cold war within human beings is only understood, as the constant demon it is, when we come face-to-face with the truth about ourselves.

The spiritual warfare—our God-led spirits against our flesh—is uniquely insidious and it pits dilution, by the extravagance of too many blessings to handle, against the potent simplicity in gratitude. The deception renders the potent, impotent.

The war within is harmonised, a moment at the time, as we reflect on the few things we have rather than on the vast number of things we don’t; those we plan for or covet, still not quite content.

Not much dilution can occur, though, when the mind is steadfast toward a noble goal.


Gratitude is a blessed thing, only limited in the dilution of our spiritual joy by an over-abundance of material blessing. It is better, by far, to have less than more. Better still to give away what is not needed—to, as Jim Elliot said, give away what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Vision of No Regrets

God gives us life as a test of our resolve to discover that which he has set our hearts on. Do we want to reach heaven to be shown what we didn’t embrace? Can we bear such regret?

We can know we are missing something of our purpose whenever we settle for languishing in stagnation of spirit—when we willingly reside in boredom or, paradoxically, busyness.

Boredom and Busyness – Bridging Both Regrets

Not many people admit to boredom nowadays. By far, people are keenly interested—typically from a work perspective—in letting everyone know how busy they are. People hiding behind their workload are usually those most adept at hiding from work; for any number of reasons. Boredom ensues. This is sometimes from fear, other times from laziness or lack of direction.

Boredom, though, is an activator for regret.

Likewise, busyness is just as common a problem. Those incredibly busy souls just trying to keep up in the world battle against a hopeless situation; try as they might they cannot get all the things done they need to and still sleep and find time for exercise. There is always a time debt to pay. Where they are destined is burnout, if their sense of busyness can’t be reconciled in time.

Busyness, like boredom, is an activator for regret.

Both prevent access to the vision of no regrets, because both send us down a rabbit warren of purposelessness.

A Better, Most Achievable, Vision

The key performance indicator of life, the one that really matters, is the legacy we leave in the history of our deeds—that which is recounted in eternity.

What we got away with in this life—the many lies we told (and none should lie that we don’t)—will no longer be the case on arrival at our eternal dwelling. All things will be brought out into the light. This will be for accounted reconciliation—between God and us, as persons. Suddenly, we’re on real terms, and, for the first time; now, for all time (if we can consider using the word “time” for the eternal context).

This is nothing to be afraid of, if we believe in grace, and freedom from condemnation in the name of Jesus, but it’s equally an opportunity to amend, before time, those things we might otherwise regret.


Could there be anything sadder than reaching eternity and having regret for what we didn’t do, let alone what we did? Whilst there are sure to be some regrets, best are we to seek God’s heart on the matter, praying day by day for knowledge of his will, and the power to do just that.

We’re not afraid in this; we believe that God speaks into our hearts in ways only we can understand (though trusted others might confirm).

So far as regrets are concerned, forget about the past; focus on the present in building a better future one decision at a time. We are forgiven for our pasts, particularly as we learn from them. The vision of no regrets is doing the best we can, with what we have, now.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

At Peace With The Past

Trips down memory lane hold special significance. They encapsulate a richness of experience in the identity of who we once were; part of who we’ve now become. As we journey there, to a geographical place, or to a place in our minds—a thought; an emotion—instant is the transport into something both real and surreal.

We are situated there, in the present, yet our hearts reside on salubrious vacation—completely free of charge. The sort of gift therefore enjoyed is one requisite in accepting, even glorying in, the past.

Do this—accept our formation—and a blessed access gate into our souls is opened. We can freely explore.

The Road to Acceptance

Sense is made in accepting our pasts in the cognition that bliss-upon-retrospection is disallowed, and permanently out of grasp, until we take that past and understand its role in the forming of the person we are, today.

Some roads, however, need to be shut down, or we, for the time being, don’t go there—where ‘there’ is bristling with untold pain.

These dangerous roads are the exception; there is a road to acceptance in these situations, but only by the power and grace of God, with expert, trusted counsel to guide us, and with the will charged to tackle a nemesis.

It’s about here we acknowledge that, when we’ve surrendered our pasts, God is abundantly able to empower and equip us with the grace to forgive. Such power can only be described as miraculous, for there is nothing we can do, alone, to affect it.

Still, for our problems of the past, we are the only ones who can decide our treatment of them.


Otherwise, the road to acceptance is paved by a simple courage to take, in faith, the past as the past; always understanding, in the case of painful memories, the actors in our lives back then had their own issues.

Lovely Is The Vista At The Cherished Destination

If the past holds no fears for us, there’s no barrier to accessing the limitless network of destinations that inhabit our minds, as memories; from the vast bank of common, everyday experiences.

Each of those everyday experiences, snapshots of wonder, whilst not perfectly redeemable, proves how rich our lives have been. And it’s not as if video footage can even come close to the images the mind can paint.

Being at peace with our pasts is access to joyous moments in the present as we allow the pioneering mind the space to relive the autobiographical movies of our lives. Here we recall something never more personal or meaningful. There is God’s blessing.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

When People Refuse To Change Their Minds

People are commonly resistant to change, yet they will change willingly and enthusiastically if they hold that change, personally, as a truth. Motives for change need to be inclusive.

Life is frustrating when people won’t change in presentation of the truth. Yet, what’s most frustrating, something we cannot yet see in our frustration, is God’s the one defrauded; least of all is he getting through to us. Ignorance is blinding; worse still, proud ignorance.

No one likes being forced into changing their views. Almost universally, people rally against change that is foisted over them.

Our Truths Are Different – Doesn’t Mean Either Is Wrong

Our logic—that which we ‘know’ we got from the goodness of truth—makes sense to us. If it didn’t, we would not espouse it.

There’s no guarantee, though, that same logic—that’s so obvious to us—makes sense to the next person—or, can be communicated to make sense to them.

Whether the heart is hard or not, or a mind is closed or not, is irrelevant. Or, what is perhaps relevant is perhaps our minds and hearts are closed if we insist on propagating our version of the truth to the detriment of others.

We will not make it through to change the mindset of this person until they, convinced themselves via God, appeal to their own sense of truth by the new perspective.

Respecting Another’s Truth Is Respecting God and Loving Them

When we have come to the end of ourselves, and our need to be right—even when veiled in ‘defending God’s glory’—we approach right relationship, finally.

We’ve also come to the point of accepting God’s ways—as they are manifest in different human beings, with disparate views to us—are higher, eternally, than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). This is an important viewpoint to reach.

Despite the non-truths we might hear, we have no real credibility to change those views unless we’re invited; only the trusted are granted access to the inner sanctum of someone else’s thoughts for change. And only those considered credible will have any impact.

So, why would we try to change another person’s unique perspective? We, instead, let them be, loving them all the same, within the commonalities we share. Hence, we respect God.


Jesus never spent much time exhorting the Pharisees. We should determine why. He spent time with those who were ready for the truth. He let those unwilling to listen go their way.

Our call is the same as Jesus’. Beyond differences we are to love. We are to reach out and speak gospel truth into the lives of those who will listen. Above all, we accept a thing we cannot change: one person’s view of the truth can only be changed in them by God.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grace in Accepting Best Efforts

Co-dependent coupledom is enormously common; indeed, it’s a universal temptation. Where one has trouble, perhaps depression, the other is compelled to ease their pain, to make-up for the deficiency, to make life normal again.

Such is the life for the emotionally entwined; spiritually engaged at the level of mind, heart, and soul. And where deficiencies ravage one, the other must compensate.

There is a driver behind it all: guilt.

Anxieties of Guilt

Guilt is a bully working in silence, within our minds, estranging our hearts, paralysing our best efforts with thought for the inept past—theirs or ours (or both!).

If such a horrible influence is given much latitude, it will, moving like malignant cancer, destroy us from within. It will use any available problem as an opportunity to present grief and to render our response ineffectual. It will cloud our judgment. It will swamp our thoughts, dissuading our focus. It will colour our perception in murkiness. Perspective will be hardened and we may never know why. Things will appear wrong without the wherewithal to put them right. This may only further frustrate us; a sinkhole syndrome of visceral anger ensues. And that is dangerous; such hidden anger threatens to spew over containment lines at the least predicted moment.

If anxieties of guilt are not addressed there is a set of secondary emotions deployed: resentment for one; illogical anger for another; just a more complex web of anxiety, however it is manifested.


As our guilt convinces us to compensate we don’t see the better option. The superior, and only correct, compensation is the reconciliatory response of grace.

Such an apportionment of God’s justice is redoubled by grace, two distinct and powerful ways, blessing both people party to the relationship—mutuality is necessary.

A Better Compensation: Grace

Life goes both ways. If grace is to be afforded to people, and that is God’s will, then grace should abound to us as we help and to others as we are helped. How great the blessing—to accept, with grace, our best efforts and others’, too.

‘Best of efforts’ are not to be judged, just accepted. This way, any effort is the best of effort.

Doing this is grace.

Instead of vacillating between the harsh extremes of over-sympathising and angry resentment, we can practice empathy toward others and experience peace within ourselves.

Grace between partners is accepting each other’s best, and our own, despite the problems, insecurities, and the anxieties of guilt that ever bind themselves within us. Grace is the beauty of love expunging the fear in guilt spoiling life.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Long Roads, Sweet Destinations

Faith, through the commitment of hard work, is the factor carrying improbable relationships through the years, not without the occasional bumble, to the durability of marital legend.

It’s a legacy for the entire family.

It is struggle that often typifies such relationships, early on. The deeper and harder the struggle—provided partners are resiliently committed, and forgiveness is made live and real along the way—the more the blessings of endurance can be tethered and appreciated between the two.

The Blessedness of Mutual Work

There is no better affirmation of the commitment between a married couple than the preparedness to work; most poignantly when there is much work to be done.

Their approach is realistically buoyant, noting the darkness that attains the moment and, equally, not being pinned down by it. There’s a lot of maturity in that.

Work is a paradoxical thing. It’s difficult in the act, but the easiest thing from the aspect of hindsight. Work, hence, involves faith. We work for reasons that are not always clear in our view. We work for a hope we need to believe in. And we believe in our partners; that’s what marriage is all about.

Better, infinitely, than work, however, is the mutuality of two people entwined in purpose of oneness.

That’s where the blessedness of mutual work resides; the faith of two blended into the commitment of one. Such marital single-mindedness will not be broken.

Enjoying the Destined Celebration Together

It’s always such a great pity when significantly long-term marriages—in the form of 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 years—end before due celebration. Whether it is death or some other form of heartbreak matters little; partners party to those marriages both miss out. There is the legacy of memory and that alone can be celebrated. But the sense of real celebration is tragically cut short.

Married couples who reach milestones of celebration should spare a thought for those not so fortunate; it is further testament to the glowing miracle of faithfulness.

Celebrating significant milestones, particularly in the context of the chiding tumults that have forged forgiving marital characters along the way, seems perfectly inevitable; reminiscent of sweet victories taken from the jaws of many near defeats.


God is faithful in this: when couples battle through, with vision of the cherished destination ever ahead and in view, defiantly together in constancy, they will reach their goal and the work will be worth it. Heavenly sweet is that destination.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Remembering to Say, “I Love You”

The commonest phrase and gesture the victims of 9/11 heard, felt or expressed in their final hour would have been, without much doubt, “I love you.” It is a revered and solemn gift. Yet, many never think to say it or avoid saying it.

Perhaps we mean to say it more, but don’t; for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we don’t say it because we lack courage or we don’t know how to say it in ways we mean it.

It takes a great deal of vulnerability for some to say, “I love you.” For others, it’s just a matter of making the time and effort. For others, again, it’s simply remembering to do it.

Converting Words to Meaning

Many people struggle to say the words because of the meaning attached, or to say the words with meaning. They struggle for intimacy, because there are trust issues between the two or they don’t have the self-esteem of courage to look someone in the eye and honestly give of themselves that way. But boldness and vulnerability are to be their allies.

Converting words to meaning, or finding different words or ways to say the same thing, requires imagination motivated by love.

Somehow, it must be remembered, words can cheapen meaning. We can flippantly say, “I love you,” and it becomes habitual and meaning is stripped away. Such a powerful phrase folds in importance. But that can only occur if we say it mindlessly.

It can, therefore, be seen as a form of blasphemy—to say, “I love you,” not meaning it. Still, we might have all made this mistake if we’ve ever committed to regularly saying it in the first place.

The meaning of the phrase is where its power resides.

And words are not the only way to say, “I love you.”

Saying It As If Today Were the Last

As I reflected recently on the motion picture, Ghost (1990), I was compelled, afresh, to reconcile the frailty of life—that loved ones die always too early.

Sam Wheat, played by Patrick Swayze (himself now gone), is admirably and fatuously in love with Molly Jensen, played by Demi Moore. He famously responds, “Ditto!” to her vocal affirmations of love toward him, much to her annoyance. The “I love you/ditto” issue becomes central to the film.

We have to do better than “ditto,” although, again, we need to be free to express love beyond words. Some people’s dittos will really communicate a richness of love.

Saying “I love you” with utter sincerity is foremost acknowledging that any of our precious relationships could end at any time. That puts life into proper perspective. Remembering to say “I love you” is making the most of the given moment, before they stop being given.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: Herzen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who Knows Me Like You Do?

One of our biggest problems is a lack of understanding. In conflict our purpose is confused for something heinous in low trust situations—they don’t understand us, and we not, them.

Then there’s a broader scope of misunderstanding breeding loneliness, isolation, and fatigue from a lack of love. We are fortunate there is one who knows and understands us back to front and inside out.

Being Near God

“... for me it is good to be near God.”

~Psalm 73:28a (NRSV).

Intimacy with God helps us when there is precious little intimacy coming our way from our other relationships. The paradox is, as we feel less intimacy coming to us we, too, are transmitting a less-than-intimate persona to others, also.

A lack of felt intimacy breeds self-consciousness.

Being near God helps us reacquaint with intimacy. There is an opulence of freshness in the lashings of love bestowed on us by the Lord. Such an inexplicable thing, due just our willingness to step into the fold of God’s Presence, is confidence and joy; a lightness of spirit and a skip in the gait overcomes our desolation.

Something To Look Forward To

If nobody but God can know us, truly, intimately, we have much to look forward to at the end of our worldly lives. As our physical bodies fester and decay we’re reminded of not just the ageing process, but that the temporary is making quick way for the eternal; real, everlasting blessing.

Having eternity to look forward to isn’t something that brightens most people from within; even many Christians, if truth were to be told, would rather not leave here.

We have a Lord who knows us better than we even know ourselves. Others—even close others in our immediate families—come a distant third to understanding us in a way we need to be known.

Returning home after a long trip overseas is long yearned for, and the gratification is unspeakable when it takes place. We are here in a strange and foreign place, far from the intimacy God would like for us. Going home is something to look forward to. Soon it will occur!

In the meantime...

Reciprocating the Love

As we are reminded of the goodness in love, and the implicit intimacy of God, we have the opportunity to return to the Lord our own pleasant sacrifices of willed affection.

The key issue in returning to God such intimate blessings of thankfulness and praise is what God does for us in restoring our abilities around intimacy. Reciprocating in love is doing ourselves a huge service.

No one knows me or you better than God. And the Lord throws down the gauntlet of blessing: “Will you come, now, and know me?” says the Lord.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.