Hey there. I hope your day is going well so far. Wherever you are, whether that is school, or work, or at home with your family, thanks for checking out this post.
Today at chapel (at school), I had the unique opportunity to share about why I follow Jesus. I went up and spoke into a mic and told my friends and classmates why I choose to follow Jesus. I wanted to share what I said here, and then make some reflections.
I want to tell you why I follow Jesus. I guess it is a pretty difficult thing to explain Christianity. That’s something I’ve come to conclude over the past year. It’s hard to explain why I follow a God that I can’t see or even hear. I’ve never had an “aha!” God moment before and I don’t think I’ve ever clearly heard his voice before.
For me, the answer is simple, it’s about love. Now, I’m a pretty hopeless romantic, but this love that I talk about is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced – maybe you’ve heard of it or even felt it for yourself. I don’t know of anyone else in my life who is on a constant pursuit of my heart and soul. Someone stepped in to my life, died for my sins, and gave me the Holy Spirit to continually look after me. That sounds pretty good to me and it sounds like a Father who cares.
God gives my life purpose. I am wanted by him and he is pursuing me. We serve a father who endlessly pursues us, whether or not we choose to return the act. It’s like a relationship where one person constantly pours into the other and as humanity we turn and look the other way. I have this mercy and grace showered upon me, and I was given an invitation to that grace even before I was born.
Through every trial, God gives me a renewed strength and changes my trials into opportunities. My doubts in confidence and allows me to move past a past filled with fear and mistakes into a renewed life of love, every single day. In my first year somebody came up on the stage and had the chance to share why they follow Jesus. They said that God doesn’t just hand us strength and faith on a silver platter. How would we grow and develop our trust in him through that? Instead, he has a greater plan for our lives where we have free will to make decisions that have consequences, and those consequences are the trials and tribulations of life that make us stronger. By choosing Jesus every day and persevering through those trials, we are made stronger. God is cool like that.
I follow Jesus because He loves me. I mean, that’s not the only reason, but I find it’s hard to love Jesus until I can accept who He is. And accepting him means putting aside this pride that I have and understanding this resolution of forgiveness, that He never fails us and He is in a constant pursuit. In every season of my life, the Lord has never failed to provide. This doesn’t mean that He will show up the next day with an answer to my prayer, but it means that there is always a Godly solution to my life. He has answered prayer in small ways, but also in big ways and he gives me faith and hope to see others lives changed.
In this, the hope and faith that I have gives me peace. God gives me peace through His word, the authentic community that we have here at TWU as well as the ability to speak directly to him through prayer. He knows our desires, our hearts and wants to meet us in a place where we can come to know him better. That just makes my own heart stir.
We have a God who is powerful beyond compare and indescribable and has power beyond our wildest imagination – something that I find amazing. It gives me so much hope for this world, one that is filled with a constant state of “lost-ness” and despair. We are on a constant search to wake up every day and choose to pursue Him, which I think is unreal! He gives us the free will to follow him, and genuinely cares for our hearts and souls and only wants the best for us.
Finally, there are words to “Come Thou Fount”, it says “prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”…I live in a world tempted my own sin and things that are material and we have the chance to know a God who continually rescues me from my own despair and pushes me towards the light.
Jesus puts peace in my heart. Fully, completely, to the end. The past few days have been anything but wonderful, and I find myself being drawn back to Him every moment. There is this truth that God wants us to wake up every single day and choose Him. It's kind of like the love I talked about - when we are in love, we don't "fall" in love, we choose it. That's right, we choose it. Surprise!
With the feelings of love come the idea of how and what is supposed to look like. For me, I thought that a boyfriend meant that I would have flowers on the weekly and he would shower me with words of praise. Maybe that works sometimes, and I envy those girls who get that, but it's much bigger than that. We have an idea with love, with anything in fact, of what our life is supposed to look like. I can imagine and hope that I will be married by the time I am 25, have kids by the time I am 30, and be in a happy situation.
We have an idea of what a good life with God looks like - praising Him, going to church, pursuing Him, happy days forever...when in fact it isn't like that all. In fact, in the valleys of despair is most often when He works the most. We are preconditioned to a setlist, and get mad when God messes that setlist up. "God, why did you change my song order?" or "God, I wanted to sing that song next!" or "God, why did you take that song out of the performance altogether?" We get mad when our Creator, our Father, our Guider mixes things up. When in fact, a good life with Jesus may not be a walk in the park...I'm pretty sure 99% of the time it isn't. It's hard to describe God, but I'm fairly certain He has a sense of humour and enjoys mixing our setlist up (not to our despair but to our benefit). That's what makes us unique. My story of love is different than yours, and we have to learn to be okay with that.
In a simple reflection, I am getting used to this idea of love and a walk with God being entirely not what I ever expected it to look like. I think when we put a preconceived idea into place, it means that we think we can see over God - that our plan for our lives is greater than what He has in mind for us.
I leave you with lyrics from "Never Run Dry" by Housefires.
Even in the wilderness Through confusion and barrenness You are beautiful, God Even in my brokenness Through this pain I will confess You are always good
Desserts will bloom in the light of your love
Valleys make room for the river of God