A “God Get Away” – that’s what the title reads in a journal entry I made from May 2010. Three and a half years ago. It doesn’t seem possible for that much time to have passed but yet so much has happened since then.
I had taken about three days to escape. Three days to quiet the world around me and listen to God. What would he say? Would he speak at all? I needed his presence. His direction. There is no way I could step into what was coming without it.
After almost a day of detoxing from the world, I began to intentionally seek him out and I found myself in John’s story of the life of Jesus – specifically in chapter 17…Jesus’ prayer in the garden.
I read. Sat. Listened. Looked out into the beauty of the ranch I was surrounded by. I marveled at the wonder of creation and at the same time checked the rocks around me to make sure there weren’t any snakes close by.
I read John 17 again. This time finding myself gravitating toward a few verses in the middle of the chapter. Verses that unpacked Jesus’ prayer for his disciples, his apprentices. Here’s what he prayed:
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be sanctified.
Protected, Sanctified & Sent. That was his prayer for those who would follow him. For those who would become like him in this world. I am not historically a journaler but I was moved to record my prayer in response to this.
After worshiping out of this same text yesterday with Journey, I have been prompted to share this prayer with you here. The following is my prayer from 5/12/10:
I need your protection. Without it I would be consumed and destroyed. I have come to know how helpless I am in this world without you. Without your strength, my eyes go blind. I become consumed with myself. All joy disappears. Relationships become empty and difficult.
But in your covering, all of this changes in an instant. The air becomes light. There is a spring in my step and ease in my heart. There is boldness in my speech that is defined by love and compassion. Relationships are life-giving and there is rest at night.
Protect me Father! Do not allow the evil one to rob me of one more day with you. Fill me with your presence that I may truly live. Thank you for this life you give. May I truly learn to live in it so that when we are finally together in fullness, it will be like coming home.
Teach me what it means to be your son. Define me this way. Write it on my heart. Make it as true a reality to me as it is for me to be Brady, Reagan and Brycen’s dad. May I come to know you as “Abba” – “Daddy” and not just as FAther. Cover me and hold me in your hand, Daddy.
I just stopped there. I wanted to soak in his presence. I sit in view of what I was asking. I didn’t want to “end” my prayer and go to the next thing in my retreat. I wanted him. God. And I wanted to be more his son than I ever had.
I knew he was sending me but I also knew that I would have to be completely dependent on him if that were to happen. I could do nothing without his protection and without him remaking me to look like him.
How about you?