It’s a question we ask sometimes countless times a day.
People say it passing through hallways, when we bump into old friends… three words that are applicable to every kind of relationship.
How are you?
I’ll bet you answer like I do.
Good. Fine. Tired. Busy. Doing okay.
There are lots of thoughts that swirl around how we should be answering this question. Should we keep it generic? Should we answer everyone with how we truly feel? My hope is that you have someone in your life that you could give an honest answer when they ask.
But have you ever had times where your answer is so much longer than a word or two? You have questions and your heart is breaking and pouring out words that you’re unsure of… you so desperately need someone to understand, to hear, to see you. To get it without you having to find the words. As people pass by you and throw out the obligatory greeting question, you smile; but inside, you’re wondering if anyone actually cares to hear the answer.
There is One.
There is One who understands without your explanation. There is One who has been everywhere you have been. He was betrayed, lied to, broken-hearted, abused, wrongly accused. One who understands even deeper than you could think possible. Jesus, our Savior, our High Priest.
“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.” Psalm 139:1
It’s amazing that God knows our every thought, our deepest need, yet He asks us in His own way, “How are you?”
Not because he doesn’t already know the answer – but because He values our words and our honesty. Because He wants to hear it from our perspective, just to be closer, to deepen a relationship.
Oftentimes, I feel a bit too messy to answer Jesus honestly. Have you ever felt this way? Maybe you’ve been trapped in the same cycle for so long, you’ve convinced yourself Jesus is tired of you. Or maybe you’re so confused yourself, you couldn’t even find the words to tell Him.
There is good news for you. “The moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside us helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.” Romans 8:26 msg
God’s Spirit makes prayers for us. He takes the jumbled mess we are, and puts it to words on our behalf. God isn’t worried about whether or not you can clearly express yourself to Him; He’s just seeking your nearness. Not to control you, but out of the deepest love. He’s not scared of your response; He already knows.
Every single morning, every moment of every day, God’s Spirit is asking you how you are. Because He cares. He is not passing by; on His way to a meeting with someone else, throwing out a question as if it were a statement because He doesn’t have time to answer.
He is not passing you by. His Spirit is dwelling, pitching a tent within your heart, ready and willing to hear every inner thought. And when you can’t even make sense of your own thoughts, He is right there, ready to pat you on the hand and say, “I’ve got this. Just stay near, and I’ll pray for you.”
In these moments; the moments when you feel alone, when you wish someone would understand without you having to make sense of it all yourself – remember there is One.
He hears, He waits, He understands, He goes on your behalf.
He prays and makes sense of the things that you can’t.
He listens with patience and without judgement.
He longs to hear your innermost thoughts.
He is not afraid or tired of your need.
In fact, your need is a gift to draw you back to Him.
So bring it all. Your words, your questions, the deepest cries that have no words at all. He will continue to wait for you.
Today, whether you’ve heard Him ask or not, His Spirit is prompting you. So answer however you can.
How are you?