“O could I tell, ye surely would believe it!
O could I only say what I have seen!
How should I tell or how can ye receive it,
How, till He bringeth you where I have been?”
Where do I begin?
Remember that feeling I told you about? That feeling that I was to say something here that felt big to me? How I told you that I had a feeling I’d be writing about my God? Well, this is it.
There is only One God, Maker of Heaven and Earth.
I am His.
I want you to be His, too.
How can you be, unless I tell you about Him, and what He’s done for me? How can you be His, unless you see Him for yourself? I have seen the Lord – not with earthly eyes, but I have been before His face. I have trembled in His presence, and felt his love.
I grew up in a Christian home. Not a religious home, but a Christian one. The best way I can put it, is that God lived at my house. His presence was assumed at all times. My parents lived their faith quietly. We went to church together, prayed together, and talked about Jesus. I came to faith early in life. We lived in Utah at the time, and when I was eight years old, all of my LDS friends were getting baptized.
I wanted to be baptized, too, so I asked my dad if I could be. It wasn’t until shortly after my ninth birthday that he allowed me to do so. He spent a lot of time walking me through the scriptures on baptism, explaining what it means to the Christian, because he wanted to make sure it was really my decision – not just the influence of circumstances around me.
I remember that day clearly. I remember the pastor asking me, in the presence of everyone there, if I believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I remember the silence behind my “Yes.” I remember fully feeling the weight of my decision. I remember being immersed in the water, and coming back up grinning. I remember feeling the first joy of salvation wash over me.
Still, I was only nine, and my faith, though real, was yet immature. My acquaintance with Jesus had just begun. I loved Him; I knew I had just met him face-to-face. I knew I wanted to be with Him, and I knew my sins had been cleared off the record, but I was only taking my first child-like steps on the narrow path.
Before I really got to know Him, I was selfish, self-centered, and proud of my newfound faith. I thought I was better than anyone around me. Even a child is known by his doings! (Proverbs 20:11)
I grew in faith. Little by little, step by step, I grew.
As I approached junior high, I began to question my faith. How did I know that what I believed was really right, and that everyone else was wrong? There really isn’t a lot of wiggle room on the narrow road, and I could see that.
I brought my questions and doubts to my dad, who never once criticized me for questioning. In fact, he encouraged me to figure it out for myself. He challenged me to read the Word of God on my own, and taught me how to look things up for myself. So, I did.
Over those three years of junior high, God solidified my faith. He revealed Himself to me in ways I didn’t always understand, but that I could not deny. I saw His face reflected from many different quarters. My faith grew by leaps and bounds!
I began to be humbled. By His grace, I began to fully appreciate and understand my true position, and my worship grew truer as I met Him daily. I began to see the emptiness in eyes all around me, and I began to speak a little more boldly about my faith and my good and loving God. I was ridiculed for it, and I felt the first pain of seeing friends and people who mattered to me deny the Savior who loves them so.
That agonizing knowledge that I might spend eternity without some of them nearly killed me with grief at times, and still does. It’s why I never cease to speak.
Ever since then, I have walked with God. Sometimes with purposeful, confident strides. Sometimes stumbling, or even falling. Sometimes halting to rest. Sometimes my eyes have been up and focused, other times, they look around me, distracted.
In other words, I’m not perfect. I’m growing, maturing, and learning still. Who can really plumb the depths of God this side of eternity? Not I, but I will never cease to dive, and dive again into the bottomless fountain that is He. God has transformed me, over the course of years, from the inside out. He has saved me from my arrogant self. Every good and perfect gift in my life is from Him. Every hardship and trial is allowed by Him. And I am okay with that.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
I have confidence in my God, my Savior, my King – Jesus Christ. He will never let me go, now that I am His. My children do not cease to be my children when they defy me. How much more tightly will my Heavenly Father cling to me, His child? How much more will He cling to you, if you only ask Him?
I’m inviting you to taste and see that He is good. So good. (And for the record, being “good” is not the same thing as being “nice,” but that’s another post.) And He loves you.
Has anyone told you that? He does. In fact, it was His lovingkindness that led me to repentance. That led me to bow before Him in worship, adoration, and made it easy for me to love Him in return.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
~John 3:16, 17 (NIV)
We’ve all sinned. We’ve all fallen short of God’s perfect standard. It’s not against other men that we will be measured, it’s against His standard of perfection.
That’s the whole reason Jesus came – to satisfy the justice of God, and allow God to exercise mercy on our behalf, so that we don’t have to be perfect! We can surrender to His great love, and allow Him to work within us, doing the work of perfection in us, until we reach that impossible destination on the other side of death’s door!
It’s good news, people!
I’m inviting you…
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
~Psalm 34:8-10 (NIV)
How can you know He’s not for you, unless you open up your heart and invite Him in? See for yourself. Ask Him to show Himself to you, for once you see Him, you will never be the same. He loves you. Don’t hold Him at arm’s length. After all, we are not guaranteed tomorrow – today is the day of salvation. I beg you, don’t turn away. (2 Corinthians 6:1, 2)
And that was it. That’s what I was supposed to write. And I write it with fear and trembling. Even now, my flesh cries out “What if they ridicule me? What if they laugh me off or ignore me altogether?” Well, what if? I cannot keep silent – I care too much. Say what you will, every word here is written with love, in the hope that I can spend eternity with each of you in the presence of God.
Do with this what you will – it is your choice.
If you want to talk about it, feel free to email me: mrsfaeryland at yahoo dot com. I am not going to try and argue anyone into faith, but I will always answer sincere questions. I have no higher calling than to share the good news of Jesus with those who want to hear it. (And even some who don’t!)
Be blessed today,