Taste and see that the Lord is good. —Psalm 34:8a
He has also set eternity in the human heart. —Ecclesiastes 3:11b
I'm not sure why I was so shocked by what she was telling me. I shouldn't have been. I've been a Christ follower long enough. I've heard countless stories. But for some reason, how good God is and how uniquely he works to bring about transformation in each of his children, how much he loves and pursues each one of us, always rocks me.
Rewind back to this summer. I had received a phone call from a beautiful young lady who is friends with my daughter. She wanted to talk. I prayed before she arrived, as I sensed God wanted to speak to her through me.
As she sat on our porch swing that balmy summer day she relayed to me how disappointed she was in the direction her life was going. "Everyone else is farther along. Everyone else my age has their act together. They know who they are and what they want to do with their lives…"
I listened. I reassured her that others did indeed not have their act together like she thought. And I told her what I believed God wanted me to tell her: It wasn't really about what was and was not working in her life. She had a God-sized hole that nothing else could fill. That if she had the perfect job, the perfect friends, and the perfect family, she would still feel restless. Unfulfilled.
Months later as we sat talking in my kitchen, she told me she still remembered our conversation like yesterday. She admitted that she had thought my words were crazy. Jesus was the answer? He was the missing piece? She didn't think so.
But thankfully the "What do you have to lose?" somewhat landed in a small corner of her heart.
And that's all that was needed. It wasn't an overnight ordeal. Like so many of us, it was a journey. One where the window of truth kept opening a little more with each tug she gave, with each answer she sought. She kept seeking, and he was faithful. He always is.
What started with months of doubt and skeptical reading through Scripture and the devotional Jesus Calling, of talking to God in prayer and journaling, his transforming love and power started opening her heart.
Her friends and family have told her about the change they see in her. The peace that is now in her. She now knows Whose she is.
She shared amazing stories (but again really not amazing since that is just who God is) about how God was revealing himself.
One time she insisted over and over she was not going to church. She was all but dragged there by a friend who wouldn't take no for an answer. As she sat irritated in her seat, someone stood up sensing the Spirit urging him to say to the audience, "To whoever it was that didn't want to be here tonight, God is so happy you are here, and he wanted to thank you for coming. And he is so proud of you."
On another occasion, after months of frustration, feeling like she had never heard God speak to her when her friends seemed to hear his whispers regularly, on a car ride home she finally told God she needed to hear from him. She heard him saying to her, "You won't hear me, but you will feel me." She said, "The feeling that overcame me was so strong I couldn't stop weeping." (And she is not a crier.) When she finally pulled into the driveway, she turned her car off and sat in it for a very long time.
There is more to her story, but I believe someday she will tell it in her own words.
I wanted to tell you enough, with her permission, to encourage you. To know that if you seek him, you will find him. It is a promise he gives.
He has always been there for you. But he will never force himself into your life. The choice is yours.
He made you for relationship with him and for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Until you find what was lost through sin, you will have a gaping, God-sized hole. You will be unhappy.
What do you have to lose dear one? Taste and see.
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. —Lamentations 3:25
Note: Two good books on restoration, relationship, and God's love for us are The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley and The Gospel in Ten Words by Paul Ellis.