Jesus is asking for intimacy from us. He wants us to share everything with him, holding back nothing. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
We are taught from an early age to “be yourself”, not somebody you think that other people want you to be. You know, that’s easier said than done for most of us? Being yourself means demonstrating to others the often very intimate things that make us tick as human beings. Sharing these smallest of personal details with others is difficult to do. We do it with a counselor perhaps because they ask the targeted questions designed to spark the appropriate, perhaps intimate responses. Yet with our dearest friends, bosom pals, even our spouse, we avoid those confidential feelings. Many spend a lifetime emptying out just to a certain level and then allowing the rest of who they are to remain hidden, safely buried beneath the layers of surface identity. Unfortunately we miss a great deal of what intimacy has to offer when we don’t practice it.
Practice intimacy and the results may be astounding. When we share in an intimate way we project a special kind of love while finding the core meaning of what it means to be loved.
Here’s a story. The University of Northern Iowa once offered a general art course that included a most unusual exercise. The teacher brought to class a shopping bag filled with lemons and gave one to each class member. That day the teacher instructed her students to spend the entire class period handling their lemons, nothing else. At the end of the period she gave them an assignment for the next class period. Each was to carry their lemon with them throughout the rest of the class day and then go home but keep their lemon with them for the rest of the evening and throughout the night–smelling, handling, and examining it. The following day at their next class period, without warning, students were told to put their lemons back in the bag. With some reluctances they filed past the bag and dropped their lemons in. The teacher marked each lemon with a code corresponding to the owner that only she knew. After the bag was filled each was asked to find his lemon from in the bag. Surprisingly, most did so without difficulty. (Source unknown.)
The Bible tells us in John 15: 4. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” What does this imply? Jesus is asking for intimacy from us. He wants us to share everything with him, holding back nothing. Is there a sin in your life that you just can’t talk about with anyone else. Don’t keep it from Jesus. Sure, Jesus knows even those hidden details of our lives that we share with no one. The point is, he wants us to become intimate with him, joined as a branch is to the vine, by speaking with him in the fullest confidence that he will not denigrate us. The results will be astounding. We thought that we knew Jesus before, but an intimate sharing will reveal so much more. Not holding him close like the branch in the vine prevents us from really knowing him to the fullest. Those students learned to know those lemons by becoming intimate with them. We can come to know Christ no other way, unhindered and intimate.
We pray. Heavenly Father, we are often fearful of sharing everything with you. Even worse we sometimes rationalize that you know it anyway so there’s no reason to share it. How wrong we are when we make the decision to hold back anything from you. You may know all things but sharing all things is the relationship you are looking for from us. Forgive us Lord when we try to hide who we really are from you. Your grace and mercy exceed our guilt. May we always be reminded of this. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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