For the last three years, my fiancé and I have had the opportunity to enjoy the ups and downs of a long distance relationship. Since the moment we agreed to be exclusive with each other in this romantic, emotion-filled relationship, we knew long distance was waiting for us in the future because of our career choices. We had to make a decision at a very premature stage of our relationship. To pursue this adventure or not. We decided to commit to each other and to move on. A few months after, we found ourselves a few thousand miles away from each other with the ocean in between us. Being away from the person you are in a relationship with raises a whole new set of challenges that we just weren’t ready for. Going through this experience, we learned things that helped us stay afloat during this time, but they also taught me a lot about how Jesus relates to us.
Every Christian is in a long distance relationship with Jesus.
In one way or another, every Christian is in a long distance relationship with Jesus. Sometimes we struggle to keep the fire burning and compromise our relationship with Him to follow something or someone else who promises love and comfort for us today. But deep within our hearts, we know that those affairs are only a fantasy and that only God’s love can quench our thirst to be loved. How can we keep our relationship with Jesus alive? There are three important tips I learned from my long distance relationship that can make a difference in your relationship with Jesus. They sure did in mine! Here they are:
1. Start the day with her, end the day with her.
It did not take long for us to realize that in order to keep things going we needed to start the day together and finish it together. When everything else fails, we have something to look forward to. Every morning, we talk about our plans for the day, and every night, we talked about how much we accomplished. This allows Betsy (my fiancé) to give me her input on things before they actually happen and to hold me accountable at the end of the day. We practice this both ways, and it has really made a difference in our relationship.
Imagine what practicing this can do for you relationship with Jesus—making Him the first one with whom you share your plans every day. If you are someone who does it on a regular basis, then you know the value of practicing this. If you don’t, then think for a second how different your day could have been if you would have made Jesus part of it this morning. One of my favorite Bible verses says: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). God has great plans for your life. I don’t know the plans you have for you, but I know this: God’s plans are better. Tap into His plan and purpose for your life every morning and every night! Let Jesus be who wakes you up and lays you down.
2. Make her part of your world
Living in two completely different worlds is very difficult. Different people, different setting, different culture! You name it! Before we realized it, our “worlds” had pulled us apart from each other. We became so consumed by everything around us that we got absorbed by it and separated from one another. It wasn’t long before the only conversations we had were those in the morning and those before going to bed. Even then, those conversations were short and dry. We were falling apart. Until one day we decided to make “us” part of our world. That meant small calls here and there, in between classes, and during lunch breaks. Even though I looked silly to some of my friends because of how many little phone calls I made a day, it saved our relationship.
Jesus doesn’t want to give you a blueprint of how your life needs to be every morning; He wants to be a part of it every day. He wants to come into your world and be close and intimate with you. Regardless of where we are or how far we feel, He pursues us desperately. The question is: Are we getting so absorbed by this world that we forget about our Savior? The Bible says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, ESV). Think about the fact that the Almighty God, the One who created everything we know and see with the breath of His mouth, clears His schedule for you every day, regardless of whether you meet with Him or not. Let Him in! Remember that Jesus Christ gave His life so that you and I can live. Make Him your world.
3. Never lose sight of her love
Like every other couple in the world, Betsy and I sometimes fight. This is especially difficult over the phone. If your significant other is getting mad over something insignificant, the problem can sometimes be fixed with a hug or a little kiss on the forehead. Well, guess what? You can’t hug people over the phone. So every argument had the potential of becoming a big issue. Sometimes, out of frustration mostly, I run the risk of fostering thoughts in my mind that undermine her love towards me. So I often need to remind myself how much she loves me and how she shows me in many other different ways her love for me every day. This is the solution for every bump we have along the road.
Regardless of what your situation is today, remember one thing: Jesus loves you. Yes, life can get rough sometimes! Yes, things can often be more complicated than we wish they were! But that does not change how much He loves you one bit! I often hear people saying stuff like: “I am mad at God because of _______!” Really? Can you imagine if God actually got mad at you every time you walk away from the cross, where He laid His life for you? Instead, He chooses to love you despite of your shortcomings! When things get rough, don’t lose sight of His love for you! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, ESV).
This blog was originally posted on 2worlds1god.blogspot.com[/box_holder]
Author: Manuel Gomez is a theology student at Southern Adventist University and a proud red-headed Cuban who enjoys Starbucks. His passion is to help others experience a real encounter with a real Jesus who loves and walks intimately with each of us. He also runs his own blog at 2worlds1god.blogspot.com