Intimacy with God

Intimacy with God

When we think of the word ‘intimacy’, what comes to mind? We decided to google ‘intimacy’ and found: “Intimacy in a relationship is a feeling of being close and emotionally connected and supported. It means being able to share a whole range of thoughts, feelings and experiences that we have as human beings.”

The ancient Psalmist says: “For me it is good to be near God”. (Psalm 73:28.) So, intimacy is about closeness, it’s about a relationship.

From years of counselling, we have come to realise that closeness in a relationship pivotally relies on trust. Trust can grow or weaken over time. Do I trust that God is seeking me out, drawing me to God, sustaining my life, wanting what is deepest and best for me and beside me when I am facing difficulties? Do I tell God what is really going on in my heart, the hurts, the fears, the embarrassments, the joys? Intimacy requires that I be intentional in allowing God into those deepest parts of me. Thankfully God doesn’t laugh at me, but maybe sometimes God laughs with me!

Humour is a particularly human aspect of intimacy. Humour brings closeness by the lightness, joy and freedom it engenders. How often do I laugh with God about my very human faults and foibles?

The media encourages us to think of ‘intimacy’ as achievable in a single meeting or a day, we can be ‘married at first sight’! Yet we know intimacy takes time to develop, we seek out a certain reliability in the other. We trust that the other is who they say they are, that they are both honest and truthful. Some of us trust easily, others take forever. This partly depends on our previous experience in relationship and foundationally on our basic attachment to one or both parents. Thankfully God knows the individual history of each of us and longs to love us intimately.

We often experience intimacy with God in the times when we trust God most, when for a moment we let go of the control we think we have over our lives, and in those moments of feeling deep peace and joy, we know intimacy with God. Enjoy this prayer exercise about intimacy with God.

With thanks to Jenny Gardner and Chris Gardner from Perth Western Australia for this contribution to the JISA Discernment Series. Jenny and Chris are Givers of the First and Full Spiritual Exercises and God’s Field Hospital at national and local levels.