A funny quirk I have: We, like all married couples, have “our side” of the bed. Mine is the right, if you are looking at the bed. We own a used, and probably very old, california king bed, so old that on our respective sides there are divots, 1 Dan-sized and 1 Amy-sized, with a small hill right in between. For some reason, when Dan is gone and I have to sleep alone, I find a strange comfort in sleeping on his side in his divot. It makes me feel near to him. So as I laid there last night, God nudged at my heart that something in this quirk of mine was significant.
This morning when I spent time with Him before Norah was awoke, He spoke to me. “Don’t get comfortable in the divot. The divot is empty. My Presence is full.”
My relational connect-time with Jesus in the last year has been more jumpy and sporadic than it has ever been before. The ebbs and flows follow Norah’s changing sleep habits. I would spend time with Him before she woke up. Then she started waking up crazy early and taking a morning nap, so I started spending time with Him during the nap. Then she went back to sleeping later so I would go back to getting up earlier and seeking Him before she woke up again. Then she started waking up again in the middle of the night, sometimes several times, and I was too exhausted to get up so early so I went back to spending time with Him during her first nap. But then the nap got pushed back later in the morning and by the time she went down, the day was already running away from me and my to-do list easily distracted my heart.
I realized the other day, I don’t remember the last time I had intentional, still, 1-on-1 time with God. I was comfortable in the divot. I had moved myself around, nestling into a place where His Presence once filled, finding comfort in this false sense of being near to Him. I filled the space with other things, many important and honorable, most revolving around Norah, all the while feeling near to God when really, He wasn’t there.
Now don’t get lost on me. I know I’m “never alone” and God is “always with me.” But what the Bible also makes very clear is that we are invited, enticed really, to draw near to Him. It’s when and if I draw near to the throne of grace that I receive mercy and find grace (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus introduced a better hope, through which I can draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:19). Jesus is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him (Hebrews 7:25) If I draw near to God, He will draw near to me (James 4:8) The Lord is near to all who call on Him (Psalm 145:18). What this tells me is that I can’t be content telling myself that I’m never alone and God is always with me. He has invited me to draw near for more!
So when I spend seasons of time with Him, His Presence creates this divot in my life where He not only fits, but has made a lasting mark. When I quit drawing near to His Presence which fills that space, I am left with an empty divot that gives false intimacy and comfort.
Don’t get comfortable in the divot that His Presence once filled. The divot is empty. His Presence is full.