Since the Lord called us to Military Ministry and used my friend Linda to provide a house for us in Florida, we have lived about 880 miles away from my heart. I don’t doubt our call or question (too much) God’s plan and I am thankful for His provision, but I am lonely for family. Our “kids” are really adults, even though not all of them are 21 yet. They are acting responsibly and working, paying bills, serving in ministry, and just generally making us proud of them on a daily basis. Erick is 27, Mike is 24, and Kate is close to 20. Also in our family are Stephanie, Mike’s fiancé. I am so very blessed and I shouldn’t complain and I try not to…but still, I miss them. I long to look on their faces, hear them laugh, and scratch a back. Sometimes I miss them so much that I go through facebook and iPhoto and just look at their pictures. The old photos give me warm feelings and smiles, the new photos, taken since Rick and I have created this empty nest, give me hope, their future is good and they are walking with Christ.We know they are well equipped for communication. They have phones and computers, and Skype and facetime and all of the skills and numbers necessary to stay in touch with us. I love the “bing” of an alert that tells me they are online and want to chat. I love it when I hear one of their ringtones and I will drop everything to find the phone wherever it is hiding!
My kids have different styles of communicating and they will vary due to the pace of life. One style is to communicate BIG news: a job, a date, a wedding tidbit, a reunion with old friends. The other day Katie called and told us that she had been asked to be on student staff with Young Life! Another communication opportunity is NEED. I’ve googled addresses found theatres and restaurants, and checked on bank balances. About 2 months ago, we helped Erick locate a restaurant near Philly so he could get the best cheese steaks and hoagies around! And sometimes, possibly the sweetest, is a text or a call just to touch base and ask how our day is going and tell me something about their day.
What I’m not sure they know is that I’m thinking about them all of the time and I care about all of the events of their days, and while I try not to be a stalker, I don’t try very hard. They have my heart and this side of heaven there is nothing I love more than my family. I love to hear from them. No…Matter…What.
This made me think of my heavenly Father and my communication with Him.Honestly, being separated from my family makes me realize how God longs for me to talk to Him. He wants to hear from us as much as I want to hear from my children. As I long for extended periods of time for conversation, so we can share deeply, God longs for me to devote time to Him. I thrill to a quick text and God loves the bullets I send up to Him. When there is need, I love hearing it so I can pray or help and God, who already knows my needs, still wants me to bring mine before His throne. I guess that why He tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Occasionally, after a run of needs alone though, I want more and I think, “Why can’t you call me, just to talk with me? Why do you only call when you need something?”—so then I wonder if God tires of me, when all He hears is what I need at any given moment. He knows, He cares and He is listening. “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, “ (1 Peter 3:12) is our guarantee.Just as we equipped our children to communicate with us, God has equipped us to be able to talk to Him. Scriptures tell us that even when we don’t know what to say, the Holy Spirit communicates forus, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:27.Does the King of the Universe, my Heavenly Father, want me just to sit near and enjoy Him just because He loves me? How many days does He wait to hear my voice, the same way I long to hear from the ones I love? It makes me sad to think how I disappoint Him, but I am thankful that He forgives me because I am His and He knows me and loves me so well.And my separation from those kids has taught me another lesson I can apply on a daily basis.