Today is the second part of my personal story explaining why spending time with Jesus is my most important priority. Here is the First Part if you missed it!
I began rather formally. Imitating prayers and vocabulary that sounded safe and dignified. The good thing about committing to praying for 30 minutes everyday is that you can only keep up a stiff format for about 5 minutes, until either you give up…or you start talking like yourself.
After I finished asking God for what I thought I should, world peace, good grades, safety for my family, I started to tell Him about what I was thinking and feeling. I told Him who my crush was and what I was dreading about the day. I told Him all my secrets.
After a week I began to get an image in my head of Him seating in the passenger seat next to me, listening, smiling, loving me with His understanding and care. I got the feeling He really wanted to know me, even though He already knew everything about me. It mattered somehow that I was telling Him every little thing that was passing through my brain.
It was nothing less than a falling in love experience. He listened, He drew out what I didn’t know was there. He spoke to my heart. His wisdom and love giving peace and joy to my heart I had never known.
He told me who I was, His precious daughter, His dear friend, His beautiful lover.
He wooed my heart with the way He listened, the peace He gave me, His presence was in my car – not because I had the right words, not because I even could have imagined the incredible adventure He was about to take me on.
He was there because I invited Him, He was there because I was hungry for more.
It was no longer about my commitment to “pray for 30 minutes everyday.” It was about talking to my best friend, and being with the One who loved me better than anyone ever had or ever could.
I noticed something strange on the weekends. I would wake up and go about my normal Saturday and Sunday routine but I was missing something. I was longing for Monday (which is very peculiar for me!). Before July became August, I realized what the difference was between my Saturday and Monday mornings.
It was Him.
He hadn’t been invited in to my weekend routine. I missed Him…like you miss a dear friend you haven’t seen in a while.
I hadn’t expected to crave spending time with Jesus or realize the depths of my own sin and flesh and how desperately I needed Him. I was met with a love so consuming and complete, that it filled my hurting places.
Often we numb, avoid, or fill schedules so full, that we can’t crave.
We read stories or hear testimonies like mine and reason:
“ that must be a ‘special’ experience reserved for ‘spiritual’ people”
“that could never happen to me”
“listening to the top 40 list sounds way more fun than that”
“I’m glad that’s good for you, that’s not for me, I don’t need to know God – I’m saved”
“I don’t need to know God or even want to.”
Can I humbly submit to you…you’re wrong
You were made for intimacy with Jesus.
I am crying today as I remember how He met with me…just a 19 year old college girl who spent most of her days wondering, “how can I get my crush to notice me?”
I wasn’t a person of great depth or even great desire…
But that day when I said ok, I am going to try this, I was like a fisherman who throws out their line without bait on the end and catches a whale. I gave almost nothing, but a “well couldn’t hurt to try” and I received EVERYTHING – the absolute joy and hope I have in life, I can’t imagine walking through life without having intimacy with Him.
I want you sweet friend, to know Him this way too. Not the way Charity knows Jesus. But the way that YOU were MADE TO KNOW JESUS.
There is so much MORE here on EARTH than just knowing you are going to go to heaven when you die.
Please don’t misunderstand, salvation is incredibly important. Trusting Jesus to be your Savior is the most important decision you can ever make.
But when you make that decision and then never get to know Him, its like if you sit down for a fine dinner, eat the appetizer and leave thinking you have experienced the full meal, because your hunger has been briefly sated.
Hungry for More? Awesome! Not sure where to start? – tomorrow I am going to share with you some of my favorite resources and ideas for cultivating intimacy with Jesus.