In the last blog, I invited you to join me on a journey. We asked God to love us up close, intimately. I don’t know about you, but when I think of intimacy, visions of candles, sweet conversation over coffee, and hopefully chocolate drift through my mind.
I daydream longingly about all the possibilities of uninterrupted time in each others presence. This goes for my time with my husband or with my Lord. Wait, you don’t eat chocolate during some of your quiet times? Anyway…
There is something very important I forgot to say about true intimacy when I invited you on this journey, so I want to make mention of it now. Let me tell you a story…
Imagine me, a wife, who is looking forward to a special alone time with my special mister. Maybe no special date has been set for this moment, but my heart is longing for that time together, a time to reconnect, to be sure of him, of him and me.
One night after a busy day at work, dealing with drama at home, and then collapsing into bed, my husband smiles at me with a slight twinkle in his eye. Now, one would think that the invitation to intimacy would have me excited and throwing back the sheets. I mean, I’ve been daydreaming about this time to reconnect, right?
Instead of turning towards him with my own twinkling eye, I turn away for a moment and blow hopefully minty fresh breath into my palm. Oh wait, I haven’t brushed my teeth yet and I ate garlic for dinner. Then I berate myself in my mind as I think back to my time in the shower that morning when I saved a few minutes by choosing to skip the razor and go into my day more like a Sasquatch than a supermodel.
In the moment where intimacy is ready to connect with me, my ultimate vulnerability is about to be exposed, and all I can think about is my imperfections and what makes me feel ugly and unacceptable.
What if he sees my hairy pits? What if he gags when I breathe on him? What if he sees how ugly I really am?
True intimacy doesn’t come when both parties are perfect but when the one looking upon you casts away all doubt by seeing you fully exposed and not turning away.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.1 John 4:18-19
Some of my most intimate times with my husband are not the days where my legs are shaved and my hair is done and I smell like, well, whatever he wants me to smell like…
The most intimate times are when he has seen me, completely exposed in every way, and his eyes have only held love for me.
Imagine Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2:25, it says, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.“ (ESV) They were fully exposed to a holy God and they were not ashamed. They had intimacy with God. That close familiarity, one to whom the thoughts of another are entrusted without reserve, to love entirely, to make one intimate to enter…
I would venture a guess that most of us are not living Genesis 2:25. We are more experiencing Genesis 3:9-10. “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (ESV) Intimacy has been broken, we are separated, we are afraid to trust or to love entirely, and we don’t know how to allow that closeness because our sin and shame has hidden us in the bushes.
I want you to know that as we embark on this journey to deeper intimacy with God, it’s not going to be all candles, shaved legs, and chocolate. It’s going to be vulnerable and scary and awkward and at times you will want to turn away.
When you wake in the morning and you hear God call to you, or in the midst of your day you hear that still small voice, I want to challenge you not to hide yourself away from the God who comes to walk with you.
The beautiful thing about the story in Genesis is that it was only the beginning. God still demonstrated his care for his creation when he clothed them before they exited the garden. He covered their shame even then and we can trust Him to cover ours now.
This isn’t going to be easy, but I don’t want to live the rest of my life in the bushes. (I hear there are snakes in there.) I want to walk in the garden with God.
Still want to join me?