Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem... But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth."
John 4:22-24 NLT
Last week I injured my leg ... injured it to the extent that I have to stay off of it for two weeks. Two weeks! This has cramped my style! I had to cancel a looked-forward-to trip, stop my walking-for-exercise routine, depend on my serving husband and others, and on and on. And it keeps me from my new "prayer chair." That's right! We had hardly placed it in it's new home (see previous post) and then the injury! Because I couldn't manage the long, steep staircase down the stairs and then back into the farthest corner of the house where my little prayer corner is, I'll have to wait on spending my time with the Lord in my new chair.
But you know what? I'm not that sad about not being able to commune with my Heavenly Father in that new chair. Why? Because I learned long ago, that my secret place of communion with my Lord is deep within my spirit where He and I live together. It's our place where no one else can go and nothing on earth can touch. It's where I can worship Him in spirit and in truth. I live from there, and so I can consciously go there any time and any place.
Last spring I wrote about that secret place. I've reposted it here to encourage you (and me too) to not just visit Him there, but to live from there day by day and moment by moment.
The Secret Place of Communion
Where do you go to commune with your God?
Do you go to a chapel or a church? to a favorite place near a stream, at a mountain retreat, or on a beach? Do you go to a "prayer closet," a special place in your own home?
Or maybe you are frustrated because there never seems to be a time and a "place" where you can go. Maybe you're a mom with young children or a special needs child. Perhaps you are a working mom or a worker who needs to moonlight at a second job to make ends meet. Maybe you or a loved one has a handicap or serious illness that takes you to services and medical places that seem to consume your life. Where is the place for you?
I have good news for all of us who know God through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. There's a place where we each can go ... at any time, at any place, without special clothing, without travel, without special access, without expense, without religious paraphernalia, without anything ... except our eternal souls, beloved by our God and united to Him in the deepest of the deep ... the place of our union in our spirit with Him.
Can I tell you about how I began to learn about this place of communion... this deep place where nobody goes* or can go?
For me it was back in early 1998. Our then 20 year old son Jeremy had just walked through the trial of his young life of faith. He had been diagnosed with cancer in January of that year. After a long surgery and a radioactive iodine treatment, Jeremy was cancer free. We were elated but exhausted. All I can say is that God carried us through ... and His Presence was almost tangible!
But then about a month later, our 16 year old daughter came to us with the scary news of having also found several lumps. So, of course, we went to the oncologist and found out that they were indeed tumors. Suspecting that they could be benign because of her age, the doctor decided a "wait and see" strategy for a couple months would be wise, to see if the tumors might start to shrink on their own.
That's when intense darkness of soul descended upon this mama's soul. The "waiting game" was a killer!
One dark morning as I was on my way to teach my preschool class, my conversation with the Lord went like this:
Lord, How can this be happening? How can we have two children with cancer? What kind of toxic waste-dump have we been living in?
After more struggle and questioning, God assured me that He was doing a work in our family. So I said to Him,
But Lord, how am I going to make it through this as mom?
I sensed the Lord say to my heart,
Go the the place where you and I live together that nothing can touch ...
Not cancer, not the darkness, not people, not circumstances, nothing!
Even though I didn't totally understand, I went there ... to that deep inner place of soul/spirit union with my God. And there I experienced the Peace that passes understanding! But then when I lived from the "surface place where everyone lives,"* I went back into turmoil.
I made it through ... deep place of peace, then surface place of turmoil ... back and forth, but all the while learning.
So over the years since that hard but glorious lesson, I've learned to go day by day to that secret place where God and I live together. I don't have to be in any special place. Although I love my beach days of communion with God, those days are rare. But my times of communion with my God are every day ... any time of the day or night.
And they are for you too (or can be), my dear sisters and brothers! Go to the Secret Place where you live together with your God, the Deep Place where no one else can go* and nothing that comes at you can touch.
Then you and I can go out out to the surface place where everyone lives* and bring the fullness of Christ, the Love of God, in Whom we live and Who lives in us.
*As Jill Briscoe calls it: The Deep Place Where Nobody Goes