The Anguish of God

A young pastor felt he should spend his time from dawn until noon in prayer, worship, and Bible study. That time became the joy of his life. But over the months and years, his duties increased and he began to cut off 45 minutes of his devotional time. At times, needing to meet the needs of the people he worked late, and he stopped rising at dawn.

Church growth problems began to eat at the quality of his remaining time, and eventually the time began less and less meaningful.

One day a friend who prayed regularly for him said he had a dream about him. In his dream, the Lord had simply said, "Tell the pastor I miss him."

The pastor said, "I cried as I repented before the Lord, and I readjusted my priorities. No longer would I counsel people in the mornings. I would spend this time again with God." To his surprise, when he announced his decision to the church, the people rose and applauded!

Can we try to fathom God's anguish over our lack of desire for intimacy with Him? His coming to the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned, is presented so simply-almost as though He was coming to visit with Adam just as He had before. Of course, God was not ignorant of their sin, but His heart seemed unwilling to believe evil of them.

His question "Where are you?" was one Hebrew word. Dr. Joseph Coleson said it is impossible to overstate the emotion in that one Hebrew word. God was grief-stricken and broken-hearted when they didn't come to fellowship with Him.

God, You have not changed. You still grieve when we don't have time for You. We repent for delighting more in lesser things than in spending time with You.

"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her'" (Zech. 8:2).

"I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3:20).