Recently, I had been gone to a pastor’s conference and away from my family. Needless to say, when I got back home late the first night I was ready to see them. I made a point to seek them out individually when I walked in the door. My four year old boy greeted me with a big punch to the stomach…boys! We wrestled a minute, shot each other with nerf guns, and then I asked my wife if the girls were in their rooms. One was and the other was lying in our bed watching TV. I knocked on one daughter’s bedroom door and turned the handle, but it was locked. “What do you want?, “ she said. “To see you…I’ve missed you…open up, “ I replied. I could hear my daughter sigh and then say, “Do I have to? I don’t want to get out of bed.” Now, I could hear her TV and something playing on her phone at the same time. And it wasn’t even really that late as she’d been staying up past midnight on summer break. I knocked again and she replied once more in the same manner. Part of me wanted to get the key, unlock the door, and make her spend time with me. Another part wanted to yell, “Open up this door right now and be happy to see me. Haven’t you missed me?” But I simply replied “OK” and walked away.
I went into our bedroom and my other daughter held up her hands and said, “Hey dad, I’ve missed you. Come lie down and spend some time with me.” We talked about her day at the waterpark, watched a show together, and cuddled. My other daughter never came out to see me that night. Oh, she did text me. “Can I spend the night with a friend?” Isn’t that sometimes how we treat our Heavenly Father? The next morning I had to leave early for the conference again and everyone was still asleep. I couldn’t help but think about when my daughter was three and would greet me at the door when I came home from work. She’d scream, “DADDY’S HOME!!!” and hang on my leg. I couldn’t help but think how often does God knock on the door of our hearts and say, “I want to see you…I’ve missed you…open up” only for us to reply, “Do I have to?” Like a gentleman, He goes away and doesn’t force Himself on us but simply looks for someone else who has their arms outstretched saying, “Hey Daddy, I’ve missed you. Come spend some time with me.”
When I got back from the conference the second day, I went to the hospital with my son to see my 83 year old dad. I had a ton to do after being gone for two days but wanted to visit him for a while. I knocked on the door, went in and spent time with him. I’m not sure how much time I have left with him so I wanted to make it count. Funny how perspective changes when you get older. I remember times as a kid I didn’t want to spend time with him, having “more important” things to do. Time is precious. Relationships matter. Things we sometimes think are important really aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, my daughter and I have a great relationship and she is usually very interested in spending time together. I didn’t hold it against her as the next day she sat in my lap and we talked for a while. She also hugged me in public in front of her friends that day and didn’t even ask for any money! Now that’s love.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Is Jesus knocking at the door of your heart? He wants a relationship with you. Invite Him in, talk about your day, and cherish every moment as a son or daughter of the King of all kings.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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