Billy Joel’s song “The River of Dreams” vocalizes his heart’s deep longing for something. Something he thought he would never lose. Something undefined . . . but sacred. Something taken from his soul. “In the middle of the night” while he slept, says the singer, his heart went searching through fear, doubt, and truth. His mind was tired, but his heart pressed on . . . searching for that undefined, sacred, something.
This song resonates with my heart. My heart was on the same journey. My heart was seeking a sacred intimacy with God, even though my mind was not. God, it turned out, was tirelessly seeking me. I’m not special. He is seeking each of us.
Developing intimacy with God is ultimately why Jesus suffered, died, and rose from the dead. His redeeming work upon the cross made forgiveness of our sin and a relationship with Him possible. At the cross of Christ, having found what it sought, the heart can rest.
In John 17:3, Jesus said that eternal life was knowing the only true God, and knowing Him whom the Father had sent. In verses 22-23, He went even further saying that we are to be one with God by being one with Jesus. Wow! We aren’t just called to believe in Christ and to know about Him, we are called to be one with Him. Knowing God is a quest of both the mind and the heart. Our minds must be renewed by God’s truth in the Bible, and our hearts must be open to God in prayer.
In the light of Christ, in contrast to the songwriter’s middle of the night, God helps us to make this journey. He is gentle and trustworthy with whatever He finds in our hearts, and He is patient in leading us into all His truth. He wants us to know Him. The question is, are we longing to know God?
Intimacy With God: One Man’s Journey tells the story of how God worked in my life to develop this kind of intimacy. Many readers ask me, “How can I develop the kind of intimacy you talk about in your book?” This is the first of a series of blogs to answer that question.
 Billy Joel, The River of Dreams, (Impulsive Music, 1991)