I attend a Monday night Bible Study along with a dozen other women. We usually work on a study written by Beth Moore which includes alot of homework, and a weekly teaching video. Last week’s video has really resonated with me. We talk about loving Jesus, we teach our children song about it, we start many prayers with, “Jesus, we love you.” But, do we really feel the same way about Him as we do our family, our spouse, anyone else we love?
Beth spoke of a typical situation in our churches. A person comes to Christ and makes a decision to follow Him. They start attending church and are told to sing these songs, clap during this one, look stoic during the other. They sing words that are on a screen about loving Christ, wanting to be “broken” to love Him more, etc. But, that’s not what we really feel at that point in the relationship. Is this how it feels to love Christ? Or are we, at first, grateful to Him, reverent toward Him, seeing Him as a King but not a companion. I think that love has to grow, just as it does with anyone else, yet many would say, I sing these songs and don’t mean them. . then, they walk away.
I love my husband and my kids. I think about them all day long. I see something that makes me laugh and I can’t wait to tell them. I see a dog that looks like one of my grand-dogs and immediately think of my girls. I see someone wearing a Cardinals ball cap and immediately think of my SIL. They are always on my mind, because I love them so. How does my love for Christ show itself? In the same way? Do I think of Him constantly and want to tell Him that story of what happened at the supermarket? Do I ever see His fingerprints in my life and want to just stop what’s happening and tell Him thanks? Or, do I think about Him from 9am-noon on Sundays and 7-9pm on Mondays?
I think, as we disciple new believers, we need to let them know that this is not a religion. You have just entered a relationship with Christ and as in any other relationship, you need to spend time with Him to build the relationship. First, you may just feel gratitude for His forgiveness, mercy and love. But, it won’t be long before you’re truly loving Him. . .as you see how He is ever-present with you. You will start to see His fingerprints all over your world. . .His peace when you received bad news, His wisdom when that decision had to be made, His guidance when you were confused.
I’ve been walking with Him since I was 9 years old and truly, I can say that I’d always appreciated Him, but learned to truly love Him in these past few years as I’ve faced some of the most difficult situations in my life and recognized that I never went through it alone. There are parts of our journey that no one else can be a part of. . .yet, He is always there with us and never leaves us. I can truly say I love Him, think about Him all the time and can’t wait til I hear His voice again. When did you realize that in your own life? Was it during a difficult situation?
Inspired by Tahmina’s Sunday School lesson. . years ago, but still on my mind.
In Mark 14 we read the story of Jesus praying in the garden. He takes his 3 closest friends; Peter James & John, into the garden and asked them to watch and pray. They probably felt honored to have been chosen for this assignment. After all, being three of the twelve asked to continue into the garden? to pray for the Son of God?
but then. . .
They fell asleep.
Jesus came back to them, woke them up and asked again that they pray, as he was facing the most horrendous, painful couple of days and his best friends declared their love for him and vowed to stand beside him, come what may. Again. .
They fell asleep.
As I have faced my diabetes this past year, I have been supported by some simply amazing friends and family. They have prayed diligently for me to be healed, to be provided with solutions, to be able to cope, to be able to teach and share what I’ve learned. It brings to mind the many times I’ve told someone, “I’ll pray for you.”
I have several friends with cancer, diabetes, MS, metabolic disorders, gout. . the list goes on and on. I tell them I’ll pray for them and I make a point to do so. However, having faced my own fears and disease I have also learned that no matter how well-intentioned, how close your friendship, how much others care for you, they can NOT possibly always be there to carry you through this journey. There are steps along this path, I must travel alone. There are places within my heart and within my relationship with my Heavenly Father I will go alone. It’s not that they don’t want to, they truly want to be there with me, every step of the way. It’s that it is not THEIR journey, but mine.
Jesus prayed in the garden and sweat as drops of blood alone. . .
and at times, so will I.
When you’re the patient, it’s easy to find yourself resenting others, feeling that they don’t care enough, don’t do enough, aren’t there for you. . . Your heart sees that they care, but your head wants to argue and wonder why you feel so alone and why no one “gets it”. We need to give them a break. And, when we’re beating OURSELVES up for not being a better friend, co-worker, family member. . we need to give ourselves that same break. We ARE called to carry one another’s burdens, but at times, our Father wants us to give the load to HIM. At times, he wants to carry us on this journey and share some alone-time with His precious child.
This is the Hope I’ve Found