“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 61 is a favorite of mine. Love to sing it, too. It’s a bit funny, I have a terrible time remembering the words to just about anything, mostly because the Lord’s still, quiet voice often comes to me when I am trying to sing. Alas, what He is saying is always far, far more interesting than what I am saying, and so it is easy for me to get distracted.
Once while singing attend unto my prayer, the Lord whispered quite clearly, “No, attend unto MY needs.” Naturally I pointed out that is not how the song goes. Then I promptly explained that God doesn’t have any needs, that I need Him. I have the theology to back that truth up too…..until I suddenly realized I was actually in church attempting to explain theology to God Himself.
Sometimes you have to just set down everything you think you know, close your eyes and follow the music. So I surrendered to the idea that God was trying to tell me something, “attend unto MY needs.”
That moment changed everything and sent me on a wild fox hunt. Before that I was very needy, saying very needy prayers, “fix it Lord. Save me, Lord. Fix them. Save them, Lord.” Much of my life has been kind of crisis oriented, moving from one rather desperate situation to the next. Hear my cry, O God…
I was crying out a lot.
If my relationship with God were a human one, I would have been the perpetual train wreck and He would be the rescuer. It was very one-sided, co-dependant perhaps, toxic even. God of course, is infinitely abundant and more than capable of handling all my desperate needs, but just the same it wasn’t a very polite relationship. I couldn’t even conceive of the possibility that God might have needs of His own.
God is all-powerful, right? He doesn’t “need” us.
Whether you call them “needs,” wants or desires, God does have needs in a relational context. He wants things from us, our hearts. Our strongholds, our secrets. He wants to know us, He wants to share things with us, to talk to us, to teach us, and to work with us.
To play with us.
Far too often we are trying to fix things and directing God as to how to fix things, rather than figuring out what the Father’s business is and simply joining in with Him. “What are you doing today Lord and can I help,” was not even in my vocabulary at the time.
It’s a bit funny to think about our relationship with God in human terms, but there is some wisdom to be found there. We should be having coffee with Him in the morning. Asking Him if there’s anything He wants to say to us. Praying prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving. Giving Him praise and encouragement. Sharing in His joy. Discovering His will, His work, hearing about what He is up to.
He may well be the rock that is higher than I, but just the same, God has needs too.
Kind of sweet, this week three different amazing pastors who don’t even know each other all spoke of “clinging.” Cling to what is good and also how Mary clings to Jesus when she finds Him at the empty tomb. Clinging is what kids do when they are stuck on you, when they cannot let go and they suddenly develop these suction cups and eight legs like an octopus.
So yes, totally cling to Jesus, and always cling to what is good, but once He leads you through the valley of the shadows, once we grow and mature, consider the possibility that God has needs of His own. One of those needs is to express His great love and affection for you, in a feeling way, in an emotional way.
Love is neither a verb nor a feeling, Love is actually a person.