2 Samuel 7:13-17
When I was in college, I was always on the go. There were always events, meetings, and parties to attend. But when I graduated and went to seminary, for the first time in my life I was lonely. I had never learned to be still. The silence was deafening. Seminary was not the joyful, dynamic atmosphere I imagined it would be. I found a surprising amount of disagreement and suspicion among my fellow students and I struggled to form friendships.
One night I had my first and only true anxiety attack. For as long as I could remember, I had pushed back loneliness and despair through busyness. Now I was shaking. This occurred before the days of Netflix and cell phones and social media. I had nowhere to go, no one to talk to.
All that had helped me avoid those central questions about who I was and what I believed and why was gone. My world came crashing down. Submerged in silence, everything peripheral that I had used to bolster my personality and popularity, to justify my existence, started falling apart.
I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me (v. 14). That was God’s promise about how the Almighty would relate to David’s son, Solomon. God describes the kind of relationship that suggests closeness, provision, and protection.
Before those first days of seminary, I knew God only through abstract belief, from a distance. I was missing the rich relationship of my primary identity: son. God used that time to draw me closer to God’s heart, and I learned to depend on God for comfort.
God longs to be a loving parent to you. Hear the psalmist repeat wisdom that has been tried and proven true: Be still, and know that I am God! (Ps 46:10).
When do you find it hard to trust God as you would a loving parent?
God, thank you for drawing me near. Help me feel your presence. Help me to be still and know that you are God. Amen.