I remember when I was a baby in my faith. I loved everyone easily. I served the Lord without being pushed and pried, and without the hype of a pastor sweating and shouting at the top of his lungs to encourage his congregation to “move”….not that there is anything wrong with that…..but maybe there is, if it takes all of that, to get Christians to move in their callings. All I needed was a simple and subtle word from the Lord to “Go”, and I was gone.
I remember when I was in my youth, how, living for the Lord was not necessarily easier than it is today, I just hadn’t met certain characters in the church yet, who trekked away from the narrow path a little……….or a lot. My heart beat heavily, bled deep red, and was open to the Lord and His people. I fought but I took joy in my fight. I cried, but I cried wholeheartedly into the lap of Christ. I armed myself with the sword of the spirit, like it was the only piece of clothing that I owned.
I remember when I could differentiate the voice of the Lord from counterfeits, and still love the counterfeits like I understood their shortcomings. Now, I approach them with strong words and anguish. That first encounter of betrayal will frost the heart, as more betrayal is experienced the heart forms that thin layer of ice over it, until finally, your heart is ice cold and solid, and then you become the betrayer. You start to realize, after you have become the very ones that left that narrow path, that you are compelled to latch on to anything brand new in Christ, not realizing that our stress, our backslidden states are dangerous to the babies in Christ, not caring…..because it is also in our human and sinful nature, to climb up that human made ladder to keep our own heads above the water when we are sinking, while our heels are digging into the necks and eyes of the innocent while we climb to the top.
Oh yes, I have been hurt, and I have been the oppressor , sometimes with deep remorse and regret…..other times, with gratifying pleasure. In that pleasure thinking; “Lord, what has happened to me?” “When did I become this person?” “How did I get here?” “Why did I have to meet, so and so, and so and so, and so and so? My life would have been better, holier, and happier without them.” Right back to deep remorse and regret. Even beneath all of my “human”, I was still bought and saved with the blood of Jesus Christ, so conviction is never far from me. Thank You Lord!
I remember when I fell so deeply in love with this young man, that when he broke my heart, it hurt so badly, that I literally felt pains in my heart. It was a couple of days before my birthday. When I finally got over that travesty, I ended up with an imperfect fellow, who, regardless of his shortcomings, has loved me so much that, when he thought he lost me, he lost sleep. That love is not always perfect, but it is love, it is true, and if someone can’t sleep because of you…..that has to put a smirk on your face :).
I remember when I became pregnant. I cried and I cried and I snotted, and I cried some more. I looked at my pregnancy test, and I let out this weep, and then a “Thank You Jesus!” My child was truly WANTED and anticipated as much as he is 5 1/2 years later. He is the GREATEST most DESIRABLE vision in my life, beyond anything and everything a woman could want. He is an EXCELLENT blessing!
I remember when he became sick. I was angry, bitter, lost, had a hole in my heart that the universe could not match. I was gone. I hated, I questioned, I wondered, I punched walls (literally), I yelled, I ran, I screamed….at Jesus. I became sick.
I remember when Jesus spared me by healing my son, I understood the love of Christ more. I saw that he could take my anger and rage and unlike human beings, still love me more than I could ever begin to fathom. I remember hearing Jesus tell me in my spirit, that if I would die for my child, if I would suffer for him, if I would protect him no matter the cost to myself, that His love for me was even greater. I understood Him more at this point. My parental love for my child, could not even hold a light to the love of Jesus.
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness. but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.”