I have been a Christian for a long time. Since I was eight years old, although admittedly I did not even begin to comprehend what that meant at that age. All I knew at eight was that God was my friend that I talked to when I was lonely on the playground at school and that I wanted to be like everyone else in my family; to get baptized, take communion, to belong.
It took the birth of my first child to wake me up to God, to make me seek hard after Him. But then life began to get hard. Really hard. And it has been a bumpy ride since then. I have imperfectly followed after Him - or rather - He has perfectly sought me, shielded me, kept me and I have been stubborn and full of pride.
Thinking that I had this all figured out.
Thinking that I could just 'do' the right Christian things and be ok.
But God has, in His mercy and grace, shown me that I am not enough. I cannot perform enough to be ok with Him. It is all about Jesus. What He has done, is doing, and will do.
Lately, I have felt God wooing my wayward heart back to Him. It's not like I was in full out rebellion, but at the same time, any time I spent with Him was dry and felt full of effort. I found it hard to pray. I found it hard to rest in Him.
But then...don't you just love the phrase 'but then'? But then this spring I heard that Paul Washer had had a heart attack and I remembered that a few years ago I had heard a youtube sermon from this guy and that it had bothered me. At the time, the sermon made me slow down long enough to ask myself, 'Hey Sunshine, are you truly, truly saved?' However, I quickly let life take over and forgot about that sermon and that preacher and went trudging along, but the question of my salvation never really abated. Then when I heard about him this spring I remembered and I googled and I listened. This time when I listened, I prayed. I asked God to draw me close to Him, to show me Him in Jesus, to help me understand how salvation works. To give me the reassurance that I was truly His.
The past few weeks have been so sweet. Much like that period of time when you and your spouse are connected, and able to revel in the realization that my favorite person on earth, my very best friend, the one that I want to be with more than any other...that person belongs to me, and I to them.
This spring, God has continually shown me, reminded me, to look to Him. Now I have heard that phrase before, in fact, one of my favorite psalms is Psalm 105:4 "Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always". But I have never really grasped that. So much of my walk has been like that. Has it been the same for you? I hear the verse, it is quickened in my spirit, but then I don't dwell there. I am a hummingbird that flits from flower to flower to flower. I need to become the caterpillar that stays and chews his way through the leaves.
The past few weeks God has shown me that it isn't about what I am doing, it is about where I am looking, searching. Does that make sense? I am not saying obeying is not important, it is. But it is fruit. Before you can have the fruit you have to be rooted deep down into the good rich soil, have the water come, and the sun to shine...and it takes time. God is everything you need for fruit - the soil, the root, the water, the sun, the time, and the vine-dresser. But you have to look to Him. Dwell in His Word. Spend time with Him.
Life hasn't gotten any easier, it is just sweeter when He is near.