Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Intimacy with the Infinite



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Matthew 18:20 (New International Version)
20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

"How do we enter into a deep and intimate relationship with the infinite--personal God?"

That was the final question in a discussion this week with two small groups of friends who met at our house to watch one of The Truth Project dvds .

The Truth Project series, over 13 weeks, is pretty weighty in terms of material; very interesting and challenging. Two groups are meeting on different nights in our home each week throughout the summer, to participate.

Not everyone in the groups would describe themselves as a Christian. The material presented speaks for itself and there is no agenda in the discussion except to explore the ideas presented, further.

But of course we pray for the groups because it is all about helping people discover God or have a greater understanding of who he is.

And so this question...

One older person mused, with furrowed brow, "How do you enter into a deep and personal relationship with the infinite and personal God?"

The question made him think of the true story a Lancaster bomber shot down during World War 11 and how, incredibly, one of the crew, the rear gunner survived. A crew member who died, Andrew Mynarski, was awarded a Victoria Cross posthumously for his heroic actions in trying to save his crew mates, even though the pilot was urging him to jump. When he finally was ordered to jump, his parachute had been so damaged by the flames that it didn't open.

It truly was a miracle that the rear gunner survived the plane's disintegration and our friend said that the gunner felt that God had something to do with his survival.

The person who told this story is thinking deeply about God and the evidence for his existence.

Another person, a young university student, said that he's recently been thinking about the verse in the Bible that says, when two or three people are gathered in his name, Jesus says he is with them (Matthew 18:20).

He said that he's been thinking that in that case, he wants to get together more often with other Christians; not just to get together, but "in his name," which is a different thing, because he wants to experience God.

And I shared my experience of intimacy with God, through an awareness of God's pleasure at giving gifts perfectly fitted; like a lover giving his beloved a gift that he has carefully chosen, so personal and intimate that part of the delight in receiving them is that very fact. I have experienced this on several occasions and I treasure each of those memories.

I thought about the day last week when I had been at the funeral of my friend Irene's grandmother on Birchmount Road, in Scarborough. Several of our coworkers were there too.

After the funeral several of us were chatting in the foyer of the funeral home when someone's phone rang, and Paul's name came up on the screen. Paul, who works for the same organization, had meetings in the city that day and was not able to be at the funeral.

My colleague answered the phone, but it wasn't Paul. The person on the other end wanted to know if the man who answered the phone, knew the guy whose phone it was, because he had just found it at Spadina and Bloor and called the number of the last person Paul had talked to through the number stored in the memory.

Paul lost his Blackberry at Spadina and Bloor. Not only did someone find it and actually want to return it, but the last person Paul had called was the person standing right beside me in the foyer of the funeral home. And that person said that had any name other than Paul's come up on his phone at that moment, he would not have answered it.

Mohammed, the man who found the phone, was on his way to Scarborough, where he lived, and where I was, and I was able to arrange to meet him within ten minutes of leaving the funeral, at a local coffee shop. There this nice, smiling man safely delivered Paul's Blackberry to me.
Someone said tonight that people often speak of spending "quality time" with their children, but all children want is "time." He said that God wants our time too, in order for us to have the intimate relationship that he pursues us with.

Intimate relationship with the infinite, personal God... sometimes we don't have to look so far to see the evidence and the possibility.

3 comments:

Joyful Fox said...

Hi Belinda,

Really enjoyed your post. Intimacy with God does involve time doesn't it?

Time to read and study and meditate on His word so we know in truth His heart. Time to memorize His word so we can live it and share it and encourage others. Time to praise Him and thank Him for all His wonderful gifts. Time to listen to Him, to hear His still quiet voice. Time to contemplate on who He his and how we represent Him to others. Time to work out His salvation and do good works so others may glorify our God in heaven. Time to pray for the prayers of a righteous man avail much. Time to love others for we are made in his image and those who love God, love those He made.

Praise God for Mohammed and for God's incredible goodness to us. Praise God for that veteran from world war II and the young university student and praise God for you, a gracious hostess who opens her heart and takes the time to give others the opportunity to know God. Those who reap generously shall also sow generously.

Thanks for the post. I love you, friend.

Belinda said...

Wow, Joyful, your comment was wonderful and would make a great post!

I love you too!

Angcat said...

Hey Belinda,
I love this new look!
And the post...
It's all about relationship isn't it.

The two most important things that God said to focus on in life are loving Him and loving each other. And these are the two things that we often struggle with the most in our fast paced life.
God wants our time...all children want is "time".
So true.
It shouldn't be so elusive. God has given us ample amounts of time. it's all about what we do with it.

Thanks for these thought provoking words. It makes me want to go and invite the children to have a day 'gathered in His name' so that whatever we do, He is there with us.
:-)
Love A