I kept trying the same thing over and over again to no avail. Finally I looked under "tools" and noticed I was "working offline." The connection was there, but I had inadvertently opted to work unconnected. Ok, so I don't know how that happened... but as soon as I unclicked the work offline option I was able to stay connected. In other words, I could post something and get a response. I could interact.
This got me thinking about the fact that sometimes I feel like staying connected to Jesus can be a frustrating cycle. I try over and over again with no real holding power. It can feel like I'm talking at dead air. By the time I stop foolishly doing the same old steps, I realize that I have been trying to connect to Jesus on my own power. As if I can be "good enough" to merit some supernatural interaction with the Lord without his intervention. But without the Holy Spirit, without the Word of God, without an honest two-way conversation with God- there is little meaning in it all. My "spiritual disciplines" simply become ritualistic practices. For all intent and purposes, those are the times I am "working offline."
The thing is that just like the internet, working offline- ignoring the Holy Spirit- can be so subtle... it feels as though one minute I'm happily plugging away, then the next I'm suddenly disconnected... offline. Most of the time, I don't even know how it happened! And in all honesty, it is never that quick. God's grace has held me on many occasions that I have let go.
Connection is an intentional choice. A predetermined decision to act. Of course there is no real connection power when I try to connect by myself. Connection, by default is a two-way proposition. A relationship. And I need to choose to utilize the proper power Source and depend on that Source to stay connected! Because my strength is not enough to create the connection I desperately need with God.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not
know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. Romans 8:26-27 (NIV).