A Necklace and the Intimacy of GodJan 10, 2016 03:59AM ● By Bonnie Lyn Smith
The text came in: “Hey, Bonnie! Did you happen to get any mail from me this week?”
Oh, wow, mail. I hadn’t gone to my mailbox in days. I usually love Christmas cards, but I had just lost my father, and I knew the mailbox was either filled with Christmas cheer or sympathy cards. I treasured both, but some days I simply couldn’t read any.
I sent my daughter to the mailbox, and she brought back a few advertisements, some bills, five cards, and a small package.
Great. Mission accomplished. I tossed everything else in a pile on the floor and eagerly opened the package.
Oh my goodness!
Inside was a necklace with four charms: The Lord’s Prayer, a heart, a cross, and an angel.
The note read something along the lines of: “I thought you could wear it to remember your Dad.”
My heart caught in my throat. I had not told my sweet cousin about my wish, my regret. I had not shared with her that just that week I had told my husband to get our daughter some jewelry because I wished my father had bought me just one piece that I could wear to remember him by. It just wasn’t Dad’s thing. And yet, my heart ached to
have him symbolically near my own heart,
drape my neck with remembrance,
have people notice and ask,
keep him part of my discussions,
and give memories a chance to come out from time to time.
I hadn’t even spoken that prayer. Not one word. Not to God specifically. But He heard me say it to my husband; He listened to my heart. And He knew I needed a very special touch from Him.
How about you? Do you need a heart’s cry answered—however silent and choked way down in your throat it is at the moment?
I realize there are more weighty prayers out there than a necklace of remembrance, but it really doesn’t matter what you ask. The point is that He’s listening and wants to delight your heart by showing it’s a round-trip conversation. You aren’t talking to the air.
He builds history with us. It may be that He kept you safe from an almost-accident when you cried out to Him, or you found that notarized document you were looking for.
We can ask Him for help. We can share our hurts with Him. We can even simply chat.
Jesus wrote this immediately before teaching the disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Verses 7 and 8 were his exhortation.
Matthew 6:7-8, ESV, Jesus speaking
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Did you know that even though He knows what we need, He still wants us to ask?
Can you see how He wants to hear from us, but not meaningless, rote phrases that don’t come from our hearts? He already knows what we need and want, but He desires the communication and the dialogue.
If speaking to God is difficult for you because you’ve thought of Him as a distant entity that doesn’t want to hear about the trivial parts of your life, you couldn’t be more gloriously mistaken.
Isn’t that good news?
Jeremiah 33:3, ESV, God speaking
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
He wants us to cry out. He can’t wait to reveal that which is “hidden to us.” Can you think of anything more intimate, more profound than a Holy God wanting to share the mysteries of the world with us and yet also delight us with the simple requests on our hearts?
You see, it wasn’t really about the necklace, although I believe God included my cousin in His plan for me. It's so special when He invites others to partner with Him as He blesses.
The meaning burrows even deeper than my relationship with my earthly father.
It connects me to my Heavenly Father. It’s as if He sent that necklace to remind me: “See, Bonnie, I’m here. I’m listening. I deeply care, and I want you to know I hear you. I long to give good things to my children.”
As he begins his letter, James, the brother of Jesus, lets us know right away that all good things come from God.
James 1:17, ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Can you grasp with your whole mind and heart that He is ready to give you only good gifts and pour out His provision?
Try inserting your name into Jeremiah 33:3:
Call to me, _________, and I will answer you, _________, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Hear Him calling you?
Are you ready? Do you have something to tell Him? Would you like direction, wisdom, revelation, clarity, guidance?
If your concern is more desperate, your plea great, please understand that your Creator knows you so personally and desires for you to know Him fully. If you declare your belief in Him, you can have confidence to come to Him with your deepest need.
Hebrews 4:16, ESV, anonymously written
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Run, shuffle, crawl to the throne of grace. It doesn’t matter.
Cry out right where you are.
“Jesus, please help me!” is a great place to start!
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about parenting, marriage, mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, the healing cloak of Jesus, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
Her book, Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day, offers anecdotes on all of these subjects and Scripture for each situation as well as Book Discussion Questions for deeper exploration.