Well folks, it has been a LONG time since my last post. I have certainly missed you all, and I hope the feeling was mutual.
Tonight in my 90-day Beth Moore devotional on Jesus, which after about three years of poking slowly through I am only a few days shy of finishing, she offered a very short prayer prompt, much shorter than usual. I want simply to share my prayer with you and a couple of quick thoughts after.
Prompt: “You Yourself have said to us, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ Therefore, we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ (Heb. 13:5-6)”
Lord, I’ve been learning a lot lately about what man can do to me. The conflicts in Egypt, Syria, and Yemen, Christians and other civilians being slaughtered by the thousands. Seeing documentaries of girls under 10 forced to marry men well advanced in age for the sake of traditions. An American pastor held and tortured in an Iranian prison for sharing his faith in You. In Venezuela, whole families live in a squalid, half-constructed skyscraper because their government left them helpless for too long. For my own part, man has distracted my mind and swayed my heart without me even resisting. My mother, I can barely find words to describe all that man has done to her. But trust in You, as Your Son’s trust in You, comes not from a misguided belief that man cannot hurt me, but from the conviction of the truth that despite my pain, You are my comforter, my helper, my defender, my friend, my lover, my anchor. Man can do so much to me, but You are God, more so You are MY God. So let man do what he may. You are with me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” –Luke 14:28
I can’t tell you why I became a Christian. I honestly don’t remember why I walked down the aisle that night and accepted Christ. I remember the theme of the event was sexual abstinence, that I cried when I knelt at the altar, that a lovely stranger came to pray with me. I remember feeling ashamed of who I was before I prayed, then feeling joyful about who I had suddenly become after I prayed. I remember going to Wendy’s beforehand. But I don’t remember what it was that struck my heart and made me kneel before God and say, “Okay. I’m Yours.”
I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into when I got into it. But I can tell you that whatever I thought Christianity was before I joined it isn’t what I’ve experienced since. However, I think that somewhere in me I always knew that being a Christian isn’t about God making my life into a bed of roses. Something way down deep said, “This is truth, and it’s still true even if it hurts.” Like when the disciples couldn’t turn away from Christ because they had nowhere else to go. “You have the words of eternal life.”
If you haven’t yet taken the time to count the cost of following Christ, of truly loving Him and committing to Him the way you would/have to your spouse, your children, your relatives, your dearest friends, I encourage you to do that. One of the most heartbreaking yet rewarding seasons of my faith has been in recent years where I’ve come face to face with the reality of what giving my life to Christ might cost me, and whether or not I truly believed that He was worth paying it. See, I’ve had to learn that it isn’t that man can’t do to me once I have Jesus, it’s just that Jesus will be with me when man does.
I could go on with more Scriptures and thoughts, the parable of the treasure in the field, Jesus weeping and praying in Gethsemane, etc, but I’ll stop here. Just think about it:
What could Christ cost you? And are you willing to pay it?