It’s not always easy to communicate what a life lived in Christ can offer another person. For those of us already in it, we’ve already turned our backs on much of the world. But we may not be always the best examples of how a believer in Jesus Christ should be, being the flawed human beings that we are; and, because we have different needs and different gifts, we often approach the spiritual life in unique ways. Thus, our devotion may not make sense to another.
When I look back on my life before I gave my life over to God, all I can see is an anxious, nervous, fearful person who was so outer-oriented that I had no idea who I was created to be nor how much our culture had a grip on the way I thought and behaved and prepared for the future. Self-conscious to the nth degree is how I would describe myself at the end of my 30’s and the beginning of my 40’s.
And now some thirty-five plus years later, how would I describe myself? No longer anxious and fearful. At peace, although every new transition brings its own tensions, so I have to work at returning to that peace. I have God at the center of my life. I am dedicated to the work God has laid out for me. So much has been healed in me over those years. And there has been so much growth in my capacity to love, to find peace and joy in my life, to be much more responsive and loving towards other people and so much more. I am sure now that the healing and transformation of us from the inside out is a lifelong process in which we get to live more and more in the gracious present with God and with our truer, deeper selves engaged in a partnership with Him in all that we do.
That being said, I am not in any way finished nor am I trying to be perfect. I am content to let God highlight what needs to change in me and then welcome His transforming love to do its work. I, like all human beings, I believe, am a work in progress. And the more I let God have access to my deepest and most painful memories, the freer, the more peaceful and the more loving I can be.
I still can’t see what needs to be done in my life, nor do I think it’s up to me ever again to take charge of myself. Without the total clarity and knowledge of God’s lens, I would still be limited in assessing my needs. The All-knowing, Loving God is the one who is in charge of everything, including me. And it is my pleasure to let Him lead me. For what I have gained in the last 35+ years is immeasurable:
the freedom to be me,
the purpose He assigned me,
the peace I have found by following His lead,
the relaxation as He carries my burdens,
the love I now have for myself as I followed His love and forgiveness,
the ability to love and to forgive others,
and so much more.
So, what else would I do, but follow Him? I would be nuts to go back to leading my life like I used to, to making all the mistakes again that I’ve already made and some new ones, too. I so depend on Him:
He fulfills my life;
He makes all things good;
He loves and forgives me;
He shows me how to live and what to do;
He asks my permission to heal and transform my pain and suffering;
He makes my life an adventure;
And He brings me His peace.
My part in all this is to put Him first, to seek His guidance, to honor and love Him as the Creator, Provider, the Sustainer of all life, the One who loves and participates in His creation. He is my partner in life, in decisions, in my joy. He is the Pilot of my life and I am His more-than-willing co-pilot.
Questions to ponder over the week: How would I describe myself before and after my conversion experience? Would I want to go back to the previous life? If I have not had a “born again” experience, do I know the benefits of giving my life to Christ? Do I feel called to that conversion? What else do I need to offer up to God that blocks me from being totally His?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who have given our lives over to God. Who follow Him in all that we do, in all areas of our lives. May we bless everyone we encounter from close family members to strangers through God’s presence in our lives.
I have a second website, deepeningyourfaith.com, up and running! Check it out!
I am collecting conversion stories. If you’d like to share yours, I would love to read it. I’m not sure yet what the Lord has in mind for them, but in the mean time I am collecting a bunch. I will only use your initials if they are published.