“I will give you treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel who calls you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:3 NASB)
Last evening, I was having dinner with a very thoughtful friend of mine. We were catching up, discussing many things, including what we felt God was doing in our lives. One of the things she shared was that she had been drawn to re-read the book of Exodus. In her reading, she was struck by the way Scripture describes the incident in Exodus 3 when Moses spies the burning bush while out tending his father in law’s sheep:
“When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him…’Moses, Moses!’…And he said, ‘Here am I’.”
What was striking to my friend was that it was only when Moses stopped his usual activity and went out of his usual way that God spoke to him by name, and revealed Himself to Moses.
How often are we so very busy with things and people, that we give short shrift to our prayer time? Oh, we may be aware of God during our busy day, and even in conversation with Him from time to time. But what about time when we are silent and alone with Him, actually giving our undivided attention to the One we call our Lord? God is always waiting, wanting to give of Himself so generously to us, calling each of us by name!
When I don’t stop and “turn aside to see”, and focus on being attentive, am I perhaps squandering those “treasures… and hidden wealth” of His loving communication? His grace? I know that it is God’s nature to be kind and generous to all, even to those who want nothing to do with Him! And it’s not that my ignoring Him diminishes Him or His treasures and resources in any way, for His very Being is infinite. No, it’s my loss when I’m “too busy” to spend time with Him.
I also know, though, that it does bring genuine joy to His Heart when we choose (quietly, receptively) to be with Him, for He loves His children and wants above all to be in communion with us! A good friend once told me about the most painful memory she had after her mother died. She had been taking care of her mom in her home, and between doing that, plus caring for her children and family, she was a very busy woman indeed! She described that once her mother had plaintively said to her, “Could you just sit here with me a little?” My friend was torn by that request, as her mom wasn’t generally a very demanding woman. But feeling the weight of her duties, she felt she just couldn’t stop at that moment. Her mother died shortly after.
My friend’s generous, faithful labor was certainly important and necessary; without it her mom couldn’t have died with hospice in a home situation. But what haunted her afterward was the realization of the joy could she have brought to her mom’s heart had she chosen to spend her precious time differently, choosing to “waste” it for the sake of the relationship instead being quite so efficient and productive. And she could have spared herself some heartache.
I think that’s what God’s Father Heart wants, too: for me – for us, His beloved children – to choose more often to “turn aside” to just sit and be with Him so that He can give to us. That’s actually all we have to give to Him – our heart, our time, our selves. Indeed, “treasures” and ultimate joy await us there.