“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
When I was a kid growing up in South Mississippi, I loved playing baseball. Like many kids in America, I had a dream of playing in the major leagues. I’m not sure how many people know this story, but when I was 12 years old in Dixie Youth Little League All Stars, I struck out Brett Favre. It’s my claim to fame and an on-going joke at our church, Graystone Church.
Growing up, I was never the kid sitting in the house watching TV or playing video games. I loved to be outside building tree forts in the woods, shooting hoops in the driveway or playing home run derby in the cul-de-sac with my friends. But my favorite thing to do was playing baseball with my dad (I.e. Think Kevin Costner’s character in the movie “Field of Dreams” playing catch with his dad). I vividly remember having all my baseball gear in the front yard waiting for my dad to come home from work. I had a bucket of tennis balls for batting practice, my bat, my glove, my dad’s glove, and a baseball.
When I saw my dad’s 1968 Chevy Cutlass coming down the street toward our house, I would literally run alongside the car until it pulled to a stop in the driveway. I would open my dad’s driver’s side door and hand him his glove. On most days, my dad would take off his sports coat, loosen his tie, and beginning playing catch with me in the front yard. After we warmed up playing catch, he would hit my ground balls and pop-ups. Then, he would pitch batting practice to me with the bucket of tennis balls. Homeruns were over the house (i.e. Fenway’s Green Monster) and over the neighbor’s head of bushes along their driveway. My dad and I would play baseball until my mom called us in the house for dinner. I have so many fond memories of those late afternoons in South Mississippi playing baseball with my dad.
In the same way that I longed to spend time with my dad, we as disciples of Jesus Christ, should long to spend time with our Heavenly Father. God is a person, and He created us to have fellowship with me. In fact, we receive eternal life when we come to know God personally (John 17:3). And our de-sire as Jesus’ disciples should be to have a close, intimate relationship with Him. We get to know God just as we get to know anyone, by spending time with Him. We can be as close to God as we choose to be. We simply need to commit to spending time with Him and growing closer to Him each day.
Just as the deer thirsts for streams of water in Psalm 42, we should thirst for God. Just as I longed to play baseball with my dad, we should long to spend time with our Heavenly Father. The Psalmist asks the question, “When can I go and meet with God?” I like the idea of having a special appointment or meeting with God. Many of us would love to have a meeting with the President of the United States, a famous business leader or a popular celebrity. How much more incredible it is to have a meeting with the Creator of the Universe?
Let’s make it a goal each day to set aside time to spend alone with God. Our meeting with God could be on our back porch, in our office, at the kitchen table, or on our knees at our bedside. Find a place and a time that works best for you, and let’s commit to developing a close, personal relationship with God. A true disciple of Jesus desires intimacy with God.
Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road Loganville, GA 30052, the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655 and the Oconee Campus: 1275 Lenru Road Bogart, GA 30622.
Phone: (770) 466-3159