Solitude is the place where we can connect with profound bonds that are deeper than the emergency bonds of fear and anger.
– Henri Nouwen
When I was a child I asked Jesus into my heart because I was afraid of God. I hoped Jesus would protect me from the wrath to come. I heard stories about how the world was going to get worse and worse and then a terrible tribulation was coming. My unspoken prayer was really, “I’ll do whatever you want. Please don’t hurt me.” I was essentially accusing God of soul-rape.
The way something is established is often the way it must be maintained. A relationship built on fear needs more fear to keep it going. I heard plenty of dire warnings.
Eventually I became tired of being afraid. I let go of that angry controlling God. I didn’t care if he killed me.
That’s when I began to hear a sweet alluring song in the wilderness. The quiet Voice of love sang to me in the place of solitude where the harsh lying voices that provoked fear of Him no longer motivated me.
A relationship established on God’s love is maintained by God’s love, not by my performance or my ability to love someone I was afraid of. It’s about His faithfulness, His joy, His peace, not mine. I had only to respond to that love and his peace became mine.
It was not difficult.