Read:

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. — Psalm 86:15

Reflect:

It’s the fodder of romantic films and sitcoms. The girl with walls around her heart and the woman who refuses to open up to new love fill the story-line with their tales of disappointment and missed opportunity. We see the characters struggle with trust and intimacy and suffer through the growth necessary to open up. It’s another subject that imitates life. It resonates with an audience because the fear of letting people in is present in the real life relationships everywhere.

Intimacy with others is tough and might feel impossible to some. Giving our heart and our trust to someone can be the first and one of the biggest steps we take in forming a bond. The misconceptions in relationships and the lies we tell ourselves flow to the familial, friendly, or romantic realms from deeper parts of our lives. The same hesitation that keeps a heart from reaching out or lips from expressing affection can prevent a spirit from drawing closer to God. If we suffer from a fear of closeness with others, the problem may just lie in our separation from Him. The strength and intimacy of our relationship with Him influences every other relationship in our lives. The closer we draw to God, the more fear His love casts out. As fear flees, our hearts begin to open to the pull of positive relationships. When we seek spiritual intimacy, we seek godly relationships. When our connections are based on a mutual love of God, the fear of pain and uncertainty ebbs. The level of intimacy we reach in the spiritual sets the tone for our interactions in the natural.

When we find ourselves shrinking away or even sprinting from commitment in our earthy relationships, we, once again, find our answers in our time with God. God’s love for us is unfailing. Taking part in such a pure and unconditional love, can build confidence and serve as a safe place as we take steps to open up. We can’t look to others to fix us and ease our fears. The best assurance is found in a bond that will never let us down. The root of our connections and healthy relationships starts with our ability to build an unbreakable link to God. Without this spiritual link, we lack the solid base needed to fully join with others in love, friendship, and respect.

Prayer:

When fear begins to take hold and we close ourselves off from others, help us turn back to our love for you, Lord. When we can’t seem to open up, help us build and nurture our spiritual intimacy. Surround us in Your perfect love that casts out fear, and allow that love to saturate our daily lives and relationships. Amen.

Your Turn:

Do you ever find it difficult to get close to others?

When you feel closer to God, do you also tend to feel happier and more secure in the healthy relationships you have in the natural?