In his recent book DiscipleTrip, Dr. Joey Cook explains how he sometimes pours an extra cup of coffee for the “empty” seat next to him in the morning as he studies his Bible. This statement has lingered in my heart from the first time I read it. Dr. Cook believes that Jesus is indeed personal and present enough to pour a cup of coffee for Him.

Personal Meeting Space

Dr. Cook’s example has inspired me to pull up an “empty” chair next to me on my deck in the morning when I read the Bible. Sometimes I speak to Jesus in the same way I would speak to a friend sitting right there next to me. Yet, to my surprise, this has challenged me more than I expected it to. Only by carefully paying attention, I noticed that I would sometimes stop talking when I came to something I didn’t want to say. Without my eyes seeing someone physically sitting in front of me, it became easier to just end “conversation” when it got to the tough parts. I’ve now pressed myself to speak authentically and in full disclosure, outside to this “empty” chair. (It’s not like the Lord doesn’t know what is in my heart anyway.) And as I do so, I find that the revelations and messages received back are getting a bit easier to discern as well. My deck has become a personal meeting space for me and Jesus.

Personal in Public?

Don’t get me wrong, I may indeed lower my voice in “conversation” when my neighbors walk by. Why are we hesitant to make Jesus as personal as Dr. Cook does? Because someone might think we’re crazy? Yes, it may seem like a step of great faith to speak to a Savior whom I don’t see with my eyes, but isn’t that the level of relationship I committed to in my heart, when I came to know Him? If the Savior who died to save my soul isn’t personal to me, then how can His creation be, which includes all the things I can personally see, touch, and hear?

The Next Challenge

I find myself looking forward more and more to this time together on my deck. Yet the next challenge will be bringing Him back inside the house. While I do believe that God is omnipresent, I’m wondering what types of reminders or “cups of coffee” I can pour for Him in my house to remind me of His presence. Would I be willing to pull up an extra “empty” seat next to me while I work? While I’m on the phone? While I’m disciplining my kids? How might acknowledging His presence in a more visible and palpable way impact everyone inside my home?

Today, I’d like to encourage you, friend, to go pull up an empty chair for Him or pour an extra cup of coffee. I promise you, the coffee won’t go to waste. You will find this investment to be very worthwhile.