• Bill Bush

Longing for God

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

I have watched my children go through a lot of changes; transitions that took them closer to independence one step at a time.

One of the first moments a child takes on personal responsibility is one of the most joyous for a parent—potty training. What a thrill not having to change diapers any longer.

Eventually they learn to wipe themselves, dress themselves, tie their own shoelaces, make their own snack, shampoo their own hair, do their own homework, shower without being forced, drive a car, etc., etc., etc.

Each occasion brings with it joy as well as sadness. While I took pride in each stage of my children’s development, I missed them needing me. Yes, their pulling away is necessary and healthy, but that doesn’t make it easy.

For me, the worst transition happened when my children reached the age their activities and their friends became more important than their dad. For both of them it was the sophomore year in high school, the 14-15 year old range.

Again, it was a natural progression as they ventured to find their own identity and break away from their parent who had spent their entire lives preparing them to do the thing that hurts the most—move on.

This isn’t to say anything negative about my children. They love me, show me respect, and we have great times together. But, spending time with me is no longer one of the highest priorities in their lives. So many things rank higher, and although it’s normal, healthy even, it isn’t easy for a parent who wants to spend more time with his kids than they want to spend with him.

As I prayed through my emotions, God revealed a truth and I am ashamed to admit that I needed the reminder. I am more like my kids than I would like to admit.

So often I have a plethora of things I spend time doing instead of spending time with my heavenly Father who wants nothing more than to spend time with me.

For me, it doesn’t matter what I do with my kids. It can be something they like and I don’t, I will gladly do it just to be with them, experiencing something together, creating a memory forever.

I suspect God is much the same way. Yes, He wants us to worship and obey Him, but I think in general He doesn’t care what we do as long as we include Him.

When I feel lonely, wishing I could spend time with my children, I remind myself that God feels the same way about me. When I struggle to do my daily devotions, I try to remember that it isn’t about having a quiet time or reading Bible verses or praying, it’s about spending time with the One who loves me more than anyone ever has or ever will.

Some days that’s enough for me to run into His arms and love Him in return. Other days, I hate to admit, it takes more effort than that. I can so easily get distracted with urgent responsibilities, distracting emotions, and selfish desires.

I wish more than anything I longed to spend time with God as much as I long for my children to want to spend time with me.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” - Psalm 42:1

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