I don’t want another boss! 9-year-old me thought, fist clenched against the wooing tug of the Holy Spirit. We were at the church’s semi-annual revival and I wanted to be anywhere else. The questions the preacher was asking made me uncomfortable. The disturbed feeling in my soul made me confused. The tears streaming down my face made me angry. I don’t need another boss in my life! My parents already control everything and tell me what to do. I don’t need a God that sees everything having control too!
My parents both tried talking to me. People streamed down the aisles. The tears kept coming. My little brother even went forward. But there I sat, rooted in the third row, resisting with all my willpower. I had a lot of head knowledge of Jesus, but no heart knowledge. Before a person opens their heart to Christ, there is no way to understand what He does. It makes no sense. And I wanted nothing to do with it. Except, I did. While I didn’t want another boss, I also couldn’t turn away from the Holy Spirit. And there, twenty years ago today, after what seemed like hours, I finally surrendered my heart to Christ.
Even now, I am amazed that the Lord would pursue such a stubborn-hearted little girl. That He would wait for me. That He would love me while I was still telling Him no. The grace he showed me in salvation blows my mind. And yet, so often I get caught up in the ups and downs of Christian life and forget to be amazed. So today, I’m choosing amazement. Today, I want to remember.
- As a child, I learned Christ as Savior of my wicked heart, as I watched Him slowly transform my desires to match His own (2 Cor. 5:17).
- As a teenager, I learned Christ as Creator and Father, as the Lord became my confidant, my inspiration, my true love, and my solace throughout the waves of teenage hormones and turbulent emotions (Gen. 1-2, 17-26).
- As a college student, I learned Christ as Lord, patient and loving, but righteous God. It was the first time I wandered away and struggled to find my way back to intimacy with God (John 15:5-8).
- As a seminary student, I learned Christ as Protector, Provider and Friend. Through jobs, relationships, classes, deaths, and friends… He was there (Psalms, yes, all of them).
- As an adult, I learn more about Him all the time. His righteousness and justice. His grace. His limitless creativity. His heart for people. His overwhelming love. His hatred of sin. His purpose for relationships.
And yet, while I have come so far with my Jesus since that day twenty years ago, I still struggle with selfishness, pride and a host of other sins. So what, an unbelieving friend asked me, is the difference now – what has changed?
Everything. Oh I still walked through times of doubt, heartbreak, worry, fear, depression, illness, and darkness. But no matter how bad it got, I was never alone. There have been many miracles in my life, many acts of God, but the biggest miracle of all is that I am here. God walked me through it all. He was, is and always will be with me (Ps. 23; Heb. 13:5; Deut. 31:6).
And in His grace and power, somehow Jesus is glorified through this crazy journey I call my life. THAT is a miracle.
This week I moved. And it has been crazy – in a I put office supplies in the refrigerator, hair falling out kind of way – but right now, in the midst of a new house, surrounded by stacks of unpacked boxes, I choose to stop and be amazed. Because twenty years ago, Jesus became my Savior, Lord and Friend. Because He has transformed me into a better person every day since then. Because He has loved me when I was running away from Him. Because He was always, will always, be there. Because He has given me purpose.
Today, I will stop and be amazed, because once I was lost, but now I am found.
“And the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and now is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15: 22-24