This is the question that’s been on my mind lately… am I really seeking Jesus in this season of my life? To a lot it would look like it. I’m a leader for Young Life at a high school in my area, i’m a leader for my women’s group in college, I have a home church that I absolutely adore and go to every Sunday, and i’ve constantly got my nose in a faith based book. But I don’t think i’ve truly been seeking after the one who paid it all.
How much scripture am I reading? How many prayers am I praying? How often am I speaking to my loving heavenly father? How often am I living it out? These questions are harsh realizations to my personal relationship with Christ. All those things I listed above aren’t bad; they’re the opposite. But when we fill our lives to the brim with busy schedules and social lives, we often miss the personal aspect of being a Christ follower. This past Sunday at church I was struck with the realization that I was starting to just go through the motions. It’s easy for me to highlight my books under passages that speak to me and say “wow i’m really leaning into God” without truly sitting in those words, praying on them, and making them personal.
For me it’s so easy to be in constant communication with God during the valley’s in my life. When i’m hurting, or broken, or at my end there is such a stark realization of my dependency on him. But when life is flourishing-and I know it’s flourishing because of him-it’s so much easier to let that intentional pursuit of him fall to the wayside until I feel that desperation for him. How sad. I imagine how God feels, to be conditionally sought after, while he has a constant desire for us, a desperate want for a relationship with us. When we aren’t constantly chasing after Jesus, remember he is always chasing after you. God doesn’t want us to get to those low points (which, are inevitable in life) to feel that tug of need. It’s not trusting Jesus to say “well i’ll just see what happens and if God wants me to hit rock bottom then I will.” No. God never wants that. Will it happen in life? Probably. But don’t let that be conditional to needing him.
I’m not saying i’m “hitting rock bottom” or that I only feel close to God when it benefits me, but I see and understand that that is our default as humans living in a fallen, sinful, world. It’s so easy for me to look at the joy and gifts and glory in my life and not pause to give thanks to the Lord, for which it all comes from. It’s easy to see the ways my behavior influences outcomes in my life and to accept praise whenever it’s give to me, as if it is all my doing. What a funny thought because reality is nothing happens that God doesn’t provide. How often do I think about my warm, soft, comfy bed and not rejoice in thankfulness to my savior? Or about the clothes i’m wearing? Or the education i’m receiving?
I was lucky enough to get chosen to be on the launch team for Katie Davis Major’s new book Daring To Hope. If you didn’t know she is one of my biggest role models in her passionate pursuit of Jesus and laying down her life to follow him (she’s also what sparked my interest in learning more about Uganda). I swear every page of my copy is highlighted and scribbled on because I felt each word so deeply as it resonated with my life. She came out of a very fruitful season of life into one of hardship, struggling to keep her hope in the Lord. I originally would’ve been in that camp when I first met Jesus. But through hardship I, like her, understand now the closeness that is felt during these times; times when light truly pierces darkness.
Daring To Hope reminded me how little I praised Jesus. How absent I was in seeing him in the little details. And so from the pages of this book a practice has been taken. Without saying too much about the book (because everyone should buy it-SERIOUS TRUTH WRITTEN) she writes in it of something she did when she desperately needed a tangible reminder of his faithfulness. “And so I began to scribble my own words, just for me. I wrote down all of the blessings that I saw. Sticky notes began to line the walls of the kitchen, testifying to all that God had given us. I needed to see. I needed to believe it.” Wow. What would our hearts reflect if we were in a constant mindset of thanksgiving and gratitude? I loved this idea so much that now in the corner of my room my post it notes start. Speaking of the small moments in which he is present, and the bold prayers I know he’ll answer, even if the answer looks the complete opposite of what I believed. Whenever I start trying to play God in my own life I can look over and see the ways that his plan has continuously proved greater.