This past week I've been doing a little reflecting on my life. It started when a friend shared their testimony at Bible study and it made me think about my own testimony. It's been quite a good exercise I think. I realized it's been almost 20 years since I asked Jesus to be my savior. And I have reflected how in the almost 20 years that have passed God has gradually taught me about Himself through his word and through life experiences. I can say honestly that some of the hardest times of my life have meant the most to me because in those times I felt his presence more strongly than ever. I guess I realized my weakness and imperfections and saw His strength and rested in it. I think the overall theme I can see in my walk with Jesus so far is that that although I have been taught the Bible since I was young, and though I have been reading the Bible since I was young, I am only just learning about who God is and what his character is like. And the more I learn the more I trust Him. I am still such a baby christian. I have so much I need to learn. But one of the things that changed my perspective on the christian life is when I learned that God is a pursuing God. I guess for quite some time I was under this impression that God was this distant entity who made sure I stayed alive...but had the right to let all sorts of things happen to me. I felt quite distrusting of this God. I didn't understand the more complete personality of God. He does have the right to demand everything of us. But He gave up his life for me. It was when I began to understand how perfect and complete and powerful He is...without us...but that He wanted us. Me. Enough to die for me. And not only that, but He associates with me. I mess up all the time. I am awkward. I struggle with liking myself. But God loves me. He wants me. He went out of His way to get me. And I didn't do anything to deserve it. No one else, knowing all there is to know about me, would want me as much as God does. Not when I can never repay the love given to me. No. That is divine. I am His. He wants me. And knowing that...how else can I respond but by loving Him back? In my very imperfect way...my sinful, flesh-loving way...I love Him. I hope that as I continue in this walk with Him that my love for him will become more pure. That more of myself will be broken and filled by Him. That as time goes on I will continue to see a more clear and complete picture of who Jesus is. I think life will continue to get harder and as I go farther that my walk will become more challenging. But I'm grateful for a God who pursues me and I want to walk closely with Him.
I grew up listening to Keith Green songs and there is one I have always liked called "I Don't Wanna Fall Away From You." Sometimes that song is my prayer:
After all the things that you have shown me
I'd be a fool to let them slip away
And doing things I know I shouldn't do
But I don't wanna fall away from you
After all I've only grieved your Spirit
And then I don't know why you stay with me
But every time I fall your love comes through
And I don't wanna fall away from you.
When the light is gone
And good times are getting old
There's no one left to count on
And all my friends are cold
When I thirst for love, oh Lord,
You're a fountain to my soul...my soul!
In a way my life is full of burdens
But in a way you carry them for me
Cause no one understands the way you do
And I don't wanna fall away from you
I don't wanna fall away from you
I don't wanna fall away from you...