I remember the day when the penny dropped. ‘How much is enough?’ was the question I’d been struggling with, in my relationship with God. I was battling with how to ‘do’ my relationship with him. How much time did I have to spend in prayer, or bible study? What other things did I have to do in order to be on good terms with him? Was there ever a point where I could say I’d done enough, or did he always want more from me? I understood that grace was enough to save me, but he obviously wanted more – life laid down, discipleship, servanthood, call it what you will…
Then the penny dropped. It wasn’t a matter of how much God wanted, but how much I wanted. Did I want to enjoy the relationship with him? Did I want to see fruit in my life? Did I want to see him active all around me? Did I want a vibrant life of faith, or a dull humdrum secular existence? And when it came to how much time to spend in prayer, I suddenly realized that it wasn’t about setting an allotted time, but about including God in everything I did, inviting him to join in every activity of my day. It changed everything, and especially it changed me. God and I went off and decorated the Christmas tree together, as that was the next thing on my list at that particular moment!
I really felt I’d ‘come home to my father’. Our relationship was re-established. There was a new love, a new enjoyment of just ‘hanging out with God’.
In Genesis 35:27, Jacob came home to his father Isaac. He in turn, had settled where his father Abraham had spent a fair amount of time, in Hebron. Jacob had left empty handed, and returned with twelve sons, but until he re-established that relationship with his father, and ‘came home’ there was something missing in his life. The promises God had made him had included this – that he should return home. There does not follow any further narrative about what Jacob and Isaac did together, just that they were together until Isaac finally ‘breathed his last’.
And I think that says a lot about our coming home to our Father God. It’s not about what we do, but about being together.