Before I devoted my life to Christ, I was a faker. I knew that God existed and that Jesus was His son, but I didn’t do anything about it. Because I didn’t want to. True, I didn’t know about having a relationship with the Holy Spirit, so I thought of Christianity as a list of rules to follow. And I didn’t like the rules. So, I had this thought that once I “grew up” a bit and got married, I would buckle down and get on board.
I am so grateful that God’s plans are better than mine! His ways are better than mine! Instead of leaving me to make my own bad choices that would have caused more heartache than success, He worked on me until I was ready to receive Him, then when I stopped fighting I found myself in a deep pit–that I’d dug myself–and the only way I could look was up. I saw His glory shining down at me, not with anger or condemnation, but with delight. He reached His arms down to pull me out of the pit, and never let me go from then.
I think that list of rules I was waiting to follow got buried in the sludge that sloughed off me. Now I seek to please Him, which generally means that I behave a certain way, but it’s not from legalist standards, it’s because I long to be close to my Rescuer, and many fleeting pleasures of this world interfere with that.
When I was diagnosed with the cancer I often said I could never go through it without God. I still can’t imagine how awful it would have been to hear I was dying and not have the assurance of an eternal, perfect afterlife. Or thinking that I truly was in control of my own fate. I would have obsessed about treatments and doctors, and would not be able to forgive myself or them when they turned out badly.
“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.” 1 John 4:10
Well, once we’re saved and healthy, it’s easy to forget the daily struggles of the dying. I am sure that is why the Lord has allowed a glimpse of suffering back into my life recently, to remember the agony of despair, and to share the hope of the living. It’s hard to trust in a God who chooses not to end our suffering. Who allows terrorist attacks, lets the bad guy win, and the good guy lose. It’s hard to encourage someone to release control of her own life to the One who let others hang Him on a cross. But…how can we acccept good gifts from Him and not share them? How can we look into the eyes of a hopeless person and not share true, enduring hope? How can we tell someone to “have a nice day” when we know she is destined for eternal wrath? How, indeed! I’m ready to rise above social nicities and share true, unceasing, love.
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 4:18)