Monday, February 22, 2016

A Sacred Romance

     I assumed she was a Christian. After all, she was a respected friend and a very good woman. For years, we spent a lot of time together, discussing life and it's issues but somehow we never got around to discussing our faith. Then … one day, I made a random comment about eternity. She informed me that she was an atheist. I mean…really? My goodness, she had been a Sunday School teacher at one point in her life! But now, this brilliant woman was convinced that there was no God and that we would all die and turn to dust. Nothing more!
     Wow! I spouted off things I had learned through many years of sitting in church pews but honestly, I didn't have a clue as to where those truths were found in the Bible. My faith was challenged. Why did I believe what I believed? Was my faith real? I knew exactly when I first professed my faith in Christ but had I grown as a disciple of His? Not much. Why not?
     So I decided to attend a Bible study for one reason only…I wanted to know where I could find answers for my friend. Not that she was asking any questions! What I discovered led to radical transformation and a sacred romance. I was falling in love. I was obsessed with learning more about Jesus and His character. I could not get enough … sometimes enrolling in 3 Bible studies at one time. And as an avid reader, I read absolutely nothing secular for 5 years! I would read 2-3 books at one time. I talked non-stop about my discoveries. At one point, Keith said, "You have got to stop talking about this all the time!" Stab in my heart. So I stopped … for all of 30 minutes.
     And I made mistakes along the way. I quickly learned who my believing friends were and who were not. One friend briefly cut me off, telling me that her faith was "private." And I knew what she meant. I got it. I had been there. All I could do was cry out, "Lord, I pray that my passion is contagious, not offensive. Please stop me from turning people away from You. But God, please add even more fuel to the fire within."
     I began to identify with the woman at the well (John 4:4-42). I met Jesus while steeped in sin, realized that He knew me better than I knew myself and that regardless of my past, He still wanted to spend time with me. No condemnation! We had a spiritual discussion (through His Word)  and my world was rocked when He offered me "living water." My greatest desire became to be a "true worshiper who worships the Father in spirit and truth." I met the Messiah one-on-one, saw my sin and recognized how desperately I needed Him in my life. And then … I ran back to my world and began telling people of the Savior. Some would listen. Some would tolerate me. And some would turn their backs. It's ok. Same things happen to Jesus on a daily basis.
     I'm not the same woman I once was. And I am not the woman I want to be. But this I know... there is absolutely nothing that can or will every separate me from Jesus. I am His and He is mine! We have a great love story - one that will last for all of eternity. A sacred romance!

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