Everyone wants to be loved, to be liked, to be celebrated, to have someone who accepts us no matter what. Right? We want to have people to turn to when a crisis hits. We want to have someone in whom we can safely confide our secrets.
And there’s a reason for that. We were made for connection and intimacy. When we experience intimacy, we can take on whatever life throws at us. Without it, even our greatest accomplishments can seem kind of hollow. After all, where’s the joy in success if we don’t have someone we love to share it?
That’s why I believe the pursuit of intimacy is the greatest, most worthwhile pursuit there is. For most of us, pursuing intimacy is not as simple as adding another ten minutes to our quiet time or our workout regimen. We have to work at it. It takes some intentionality. But it’s worth it because deep down, we know being close to another human being matters like nothing else in the world.
And being close to God? That takes things to a whole new level. Maybe having an “intimate relationship with God” feels like one more obligation in an already-overwhelmed life. After all, intimacy is tricky to pull off with a real, live, flesh-and-blood person. How can we hope to have an intimate relationship with someone we can’t see?
It’s not as hard as you might think — especially when you stop to consider what intimacy really is. Intimacy isn’t built on grand, elaborate gestures. Rather, it’s made up of a thousand tiny, everyday moments of interaction.
Every time we share an experience with someone, we build intimacy. A smile, a kind text, a wave ... It’s asking your kids how their day went when they get home. It’s asking — and caring about — how your husband's meeting went. It’s noticing a downcast face and offering a word of encouragement. A single encounter may not amount to much, but if we share enough experiences with someone … that’s how we build intimacy.
Now that's not quite as overwhelming, right? And it’s what God’s Word urges us to do. “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other” (1 John 4:11).
Because God is always present, intimacy with Him is possible every moment of our lives. He’s already here. We just have to show up.
When you need help, tell Him. When you are joyful, recognize His goodness behind the joy, and take time to praise Him. When you see beauty, recognize the hand of God and thank Him.
So how about it? Maybe not quite as cumbersome as we thought? Give it a try. You may just find that an ordinary day can become the most intimate day with God you have ever spent.
If intimacy is a shared experience, then perhaps the ultimate example of an invitation to intimacy is the presence of Jesus— when God chose to become more like us. He could have loved us from a distance. But God wanted to do more than just love us. He wanted to be intimate with us.
Through Jesus, God shared our loneliness, fatigue, anxiety and sorrow. He shared in our joy and our pain. He provided comfort in our despair at feeling forsaken. Maybe intimacy with God isn’t just something we can do, but something we can also receive. And maybe, just maybe, we can rest in that for a while.
Take a moment or two to thank God that we were made for connection and intimacy with others and with Him. I pray that He will help us grow closer to those who matter most in our lives.