One of the paradoxes of the human experience concerns our penchant to want something and yet do little or nothing to obtain it. We may desire to have a deeper understanding of scripture, but never take time to study nor discuss with others what we have studied. We may yearn to be healthy and fit but refuse to exercise or change our diet. The examples are endless.

Some time ago a survey analyzing thousands of people attempted to evaluate lifestyle factors positively contributing to longevity. Based on this study the third most vital component to increasing lifespan was diet–basically eating your fruits and vegetables. The second most crucial factor in attaining longer lifespan was exercise—to keep moving. However, I was amazed to discover that statistically the most important contributor to a long life was relationships. People who came from close-knit families, who attended church and other social events, and who nurtured strong friendships tended to outlast their peers who didn’t do these things. They were sick less often, and when they were sick, they recovered both more often and more quickly. 

We have been created with a need for connection. We do not function well isolated on an island. Sadly, while we yearn for connection, our harried and hectic lives hinder our ability to establish close friendships. Again, we find ourselves caught in the paradox of longing for something that our lifestyle negates.

The number one relationship underlying all other connections is our relationship with our Creator. After Adam and Eve’s fall, their easy intimate fellowship with God was shattered. In fact, they hid from Him. The connection with Yahweh had been severed.

We know that God fills the heavens and the earth. We can’t escape from his presence no matter where we go. Psalm 139: 8, “If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there”. We long to be close to our Creator, to boldly enter the Most Holy Place and commune with Him. Wonderfully, Yeshua’s death and resurrection paved this way for each of us.

So why don’t we grow closer to our Father? The air surrounding us is filled with radio waves. People are speaking, music is playing, announcers are describing events. The air vibrates with information. However, though it is close to us we can’t decipher it until we turn on the radio and adjust the dial to the frequency of the program we wish to hear. The program is there but we have to make adjustments and fine tune the dial to receive the message.

At this time of year, we take stock of ourselves and assess our relationship with our Creator and Redeemer.  We must check to see if our “receiver” is calibrated to hear the voice of our Savior. Take time to enter into a season of communion with him. He is the source of our life and our connection with Him takes precedence over every other aspect of our lives. He is not far away, and He yearns to make Himself known to us.

John Conrad

BYNA Elder

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