The life I lead these days affords me the privilege to encounter many people’s opinions on God, Jesus Christ, church, Christian living, rights, wrongs, theories and a plethora of other topics from raising children to caring for the elderly.
Between friends, family, songs, poems, books, articles, devotionals, newsletters and the internet – the sentiments on all things of the spiritual nature are substantial and none are identical. You can basically find anything and anyone to agree and/or disagree with your point of view. In fact, the thoughts and ideas on religion are limitless.
I spent many years separating myself from these topics and discussions because I was uncomfortable with my lack of knowledge and honestly, I didn’t have a clue what I believed. It wasn’t uncommon for me to try different things on for size and toss it the moment it started making me feel awkward or uneasy.
Essentially, I sought for something I couldn’t name. As I’ve matured, I’ve realized that ‘something’ is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus Christ, not just God.
Many of us can agree that there is a God, but often have difficulty believing in His Son, Jesus Christ, because we can’t fathom why an omnipotent God would lower Himself to become human and walk among us, much less choose to hang on a cross and die for us.
The simple answer is God loves us. Whether or not we choose to believe it is up to us.
If we don’t choose to believe, there isn’t any amount of convincing by anyone to make us change our mind. That’s the great thing about Jesus! He doesn’t force us to do anything we don’t want to do. We have to choose and we each have our own experience.
And let me tell you, the experiences can be many and pretty amazing. Here’s one of my experiences that strengthened my faith and encouraged me to make some life changes.
I’m pretty sure there isn’t another time in my life that I felt closer to Jesus than when my dad was dying. I was alone, devastated and one hot mess. I was angry that my hero was going to leave me to suffer through the rest of my days without him. I was scared because dad was going somewhere I didn’t know much about or feel connected with. I was lost.
Then, out of the blue. YES, out of the blue! The scripture from Philippians 6 came to mind, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I don’t think it was quite that eloquent because I’m just not that good. It was probably more like, “Shut up, Meg. Ask me and I’ll help you!”
What stands out in my mind is that I was standing at the entrance of my parents’ bedroom where my dad laid dying and feeling my life change before my eyes. It was the most serene moment of my entire life. In that moment, I chose to seek my God and a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ and accept the help that only He can give.
Sure, I had gone to church my whole life and believed in God and Jesus, but I hadn’t chosen to actually LIVE like it and make an effort to seek His Will and not necessarily my own. (Definitely still have trouble with letting go of what I want to do, but I continue to work on it!)
In that particular moment in time, I FELT His presence. I FELT His comfort. And I FELT His peace. It was all over after that…I was HOOKED!
There was no vision, choir of angels or a flood light from Heaven, but there was an overhaul on my life because I suddenly wanted to find out more about Him and discover what He wanted me to do with my life.
Sadly, it took my dad’s illness and my brokenness to allow God ultimate control of my life, but the fact of the matter remains that I had an experience with Jesus that day like none other.
Since then, I have really come to wish I could erase so many people’s terrible experiences, beliefs or distrust in following Jesus.
Of course, I understand we all have our own opinions and issues with church, religion and theology (been there myself), but choosing to love God and your neighbor isn’t something I can argue with…it’s inherently good. And I have a deep God-given desire to be with Him that no one can deny.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1John 4:9-12
I long to share this faith and conviction to others who are currently lost, which is why I write my GEMs and continue to seek His purpose for my life. However, I’m also well aware that we all have to find our own way and make our own choice. And differences do not make any of us right or wrong.
Clearly, I am no better than anyone else and struggle daily with being obedient to my higher calling (just read some of my past posts…haha), but I am secure in my faith that I am loved beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Furthermore, I know Jesus is real because I know Him.
May sound crazy to some, but if you’ve ever walked with Him, you will know that He carries us through most days if we will let Him and walks closely behind when we don’t! He wants us ALL, regardless of who we are or what we’ve done.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2Peter 3:9
My life will never be perfect, nor will it be lacking in temptation, evil, tribulation or suffering. However, it will always be filled with hope because of who I choose to follow.
What’s your choice?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.