Don't let the mint taste fool you - a Tums tablet is not candy.
However, my grandfather didn't see it that way. On the rare trip to visit him I quickly learned to decline the offer for some "candy".
My grandpa, Eugene, was a Russian immigrant living in California. He had a thick accent and we had a lot of miles between us. As a result, our relationship was rather thin. It did not mean we didn't have a love for one another, but it hampered our ability for genuine connection to happen. When we did get a chance to be in the same place at the same time it was a bit awkward. You're with someone you care about but don't have the history to respond to or even express appropriately your personality much less your love for one another.
Unfortunately, this is also a great picture of what our relationship with the Lord can be like if we don't spend time with Him. The Lord loves us and we love the Lord, but that doesn't mean we are fostering relationship with Him only by confessing our love for Him. We're still His sons and daughters, just like I was still the grandson of Eugene, but are we becoming more like Him? Are we close enough to Him to understand the way He speaks to us and cares for us?
Simply put - we have to spend time with Lord if we are to understand who He is, who we are, and to make sense of the plan and purposes He has for us. When we find moments in our day to pause, reflect, and have a conversation with God He'll unfold the truths about who He is and what resources He has for us to live out our lives fully.
Matthew 7:7 presents a promise to us saying "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Personally, I've had to become intentional about seeking these moments to "seek" out of my day. I seek God while I do my morning run, mowing the yard, listening to music - really, it's any time I can process without interruption. It's just a time to posture our hearts to have a conversation with God and listen to His leading.
Every time I open myself up to a God encounter moment like that I come away encouraged, refreshed and with a better perspective. It compliments and clarifies what I am reading in the Bible or a sermon I recently heard. There are times though when I feel more distant and disconnected with spiritual things. We all get there. Just the pace of life and sometimes my own poor decisions allow me to lose focus. However, James 4:8 tells us that we if we "Come near to God and he will come near to you." Even when we feel like we are in a far away place He is faithful to pick up the conversation.
Here's the challenge:
Let's intentionally focus on increasing our time with the Lord. However much you feel like you do let's get into a season of doing more! A great instruction to start the conversation comes from Psalms 62:8 where we are told to just "pour our hearts out to Him". I cover everything from thanking the Lord to venting my frustrations with health insurance....so there is a lot of room in there. Let's position our hearts to receive what He has for us and strengthen our relationship with Him.