There IS More… The Respect Dare
Ten years into my “Christian walk,” I discovered that I really didn’t “get it.” My experience of God wasn’t a relationship, it was a checklist. Bible study. Check. Prayer time. Check. Sunday service. Check. Volunteer. Check. Make a meal for someone in need. Check. Tithe. Check. Busily doing things “for God,” but not in real relationship “with God.” “Is this it? Isn’t there MORE?” I wondered.
So I told Him about it. Complained that I didn’t get it. Asked Him for help with this so-called “relationship with Jesus” thing.
About a year after I prayed about this, my then 2-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was coming down our stairs. Waiting for her to come all the way down, I stood with a basket of laundry at the bottom. She stopped, got this look on her face, and gleefully exclaimed, “Mommy! Catch!” at which point, she lept off the landing straight into the air. I dropped the laundry basket and caught her in my arms, and thought…”WOW! That’s trust!”
Two nights after that incident, God awakened me at 4am. Sleep alluded me, and I crept downstairs to read my Bible. I sought out the gospels, and read about Jesus the night He was arrested. He wept. And sweat blood. And felt alone. He begged God to find some other way, but if there wasn’t, “Thy will, not mine be done.”
And then I “got it.”
All I could do was weep, dwelling in the recognition of what God Himself had done for me. I connected the dots between my daughter’s level of trust in me, and how much God wanted me to trust Him. I got what I think is just a teeny tiny pinprick of understanding of how much He loves us, because of how much I love my kids. I would do anything for any of my kids. And I want so much for them, more even than what I had growing up.
And I made the connection between what God wants for us (it’s so much more than what we think) and what He did for us.
So I cried. All I could utter was, “I’m so sorry…” in full view of His great love for me, and in recognition of all the times I didn’t do what He wanted me to do, didn’t represent Him well, and didn’t love Him back by how I treated other people… And then I told Him the most important thing a follower ever tells God…it’s the one thing that changes everything.
I said I would do anything He wanted me to do.
And I meant it. I still do.
My walk with God has been a vertical growth curve since then. I have peace when I should be upset. I can love in difficult circumstances. I can forgive supernaturally. I can keep my mouth shut when I need to. And I can respect my husband, and see Him the way God does, as an imperfect but a good-hearted man who is doing his best for his family and his God. Actually, it’s not me doing any of those things, because I can’t. But He lives in me now, really lives, and the more I obey what His Word (the Bible) says for me to do, the MORE He becomes and the less I am. And this is a beautiful thing. But you might not “get it” unless you also become broken and choose submission. 🙂
So yes, there IS more. And YOU are more. Don’t believe the lies of this world. Hear Truth. Repent and submit.
Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.