I’ve been praying for a friend for the last 16 years. I’m praying for her salvation, for her to know the one who made her and loves her beyond measure and reason. She’s a dear friend of the family and several years ago she had a conversation with my dad about God and faith. She expressed curiosity and a longing to know if something more was out there, but she wasn’t convinced that it was actually worth pursuing; what would she find? My dad told her to just push on the door; if there’s a door in front of you, push on it and see what’s behind it. It can’t hurt to find out what’s behind the door. She has started hovering around the door a bit more lately, but is still tentative to actually press in. She and I had a recent conversation once again about faith and I reminded her of my dad’s words. I invited her to be brave because God can be trusted. “Just push on the door.”
In another conversation about two weeks later, I shared with a different friend about several decisions that I’ve been wrestling with. As we talked, I was surprised that when I slowed down to look at why I was having a tough time making some choices, there was fear underneath my indecision and immobility. Fear of failure and embarrassment, fear of being unproductive with my time, fear of being off track (okay, wrong) about what God actually wants. As we spoke I said, “I don’t often ask God very specific questions. I tend to be kind of vague and just say ‘Wonder what you’re up to God. I wonder what you think about this.’ I don’t ask him to actually show me things, to actually answer me.”
Standing outside my car door, my gentle friend smiled and said, “Because you’re afraid he won’t answer.” My eyes popped open wide and a grin fell across my face as I shook my head. Suddenly I saw it.
I, too, am afraid to push on the door. I, too, am afraid that he won’t be real enough, personal enough, invested enough, caring enough. The instincts in my heart that I can’t always see and name still influence how I see him. And I don’t always press in to find out that he is good and that he can be trusted, the very thing my heart most wants to know.
Friends who speak his truth, who remind me of who he really is and how he sees me, help me come back to his presence. And God himself never stops pursuing my heart. I have growing and learning to do, just like the precious friend for whom I pray. We both get a chance to push on the door and see more of who he is, how he loves, and what grace overcomes.