Can you believe we're in the final week of our journey? Part of me wants to shed a few tears, sad to see it end already. But a bigger part of me wants to shout HALLELUJAH right along side all of you from the tallest rooftop nearby. What a month, yes?
I don't know about you, but God has brought me to some pretty difficult places these last few weeks and asked me to grow and stretch in ways I didn't think possible. He's used this journey, you precious readers, and my ongoing situation with my daughter's recovery to teach to trust him and wait on him in ways that hurt beyond belief! But I know they are so necessary to my future, my daughter's future, and especially to my husband's future. Lots of preparation going on in the Miller household!
God has designed my circumstances in this moment is such a way that I can only persevere so long as I keep my eyes on him. The moment my gaze falters, caught by the seemingly impossible situation we seem to be in, my hope wanes, my strength lags, and my heart despairs.
What do I do? I yank myself back, eyes uplifted again, and affirm that God is there working. And every good work he starts, he will complete. And not only that. There's another treasure I want to share with you that I hope will comfort you as deeply as it does me.
Do you know how much Jesus loves you? Do you realize how intimately he knows you, loves you, and cherishes every bit of you? We can say yes in our minds. Yes, I know. Jesus died for me. But do you really know it in your heart?
Let me tell you a little story before I share that treasure. At the beginning of our journey, I went for a walk one day. Just me and the pooch out in the sunshine. Shasta was über happy to be out, her tail wagging and her tongue hanging out. Me? I was listening to that song I posted at the beginning of the Mind of Christ journey, the Revelation Song. (You can go back to that post here.)
As I walked, I worshiped God from a place of heartache and despair. My hopes and expectations for a certain situation had to be let go. And in that moment of release, I heard Jesus speak to my heart.
"I died for you, Dineen. I died for you."
As I walked and listened, tears streamed down my face. I can only recall one other time in my life that I heard Jesus speak to me so directly. That first time brought healing in a much needed area, but this time transformed my heart. You see, I'd had no problem speaking to God, the Father and to God, the Holy Spirit. But to God, the Son? Somehow I'd put this barrier between Jesus and I. I even avoided using his name, because it didn't fit. I envied those who spoke his name in such intimacy.
That day changed me in a subtlely huge way. Yes, I use that oxymoron intentionally, because a seemingly small thing had literally transformed my heart in a huge way. Now I call him "my Jesus" and smile intimately, knowing he really is my Jesus!
So, here's that treasure I promised. Those of you who already "get it," bear with us slow-pokes. The nugget's in John 17:20:
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message."
Did you know before Jesus even died for you, he prayed for you? He prayed for me. He prayed for you—Lynn, Holly, Angela, Denise, Noreen, Tracy, Angie, Bernadine, Holly, Melanie, Debbie, Caroline, Rosheeda, Amy, Kelly, Linmayu, Stacy, Tamara, Robin, Stacey, Pia, Bonnie, Bernice, Helen, YOU...
I took several of your precious names off the last few posts to make a point. I know there are so many more of you out there. So, please, write this in your journal and put your name in the blank:
Jesus died for me—_______. Then say it out loud. Hear it with your ears and feel it with your heart. Let him speak to you like he's never done before. Let him show you how truly amazing your life can be when he sits on the throne of your life, showering you with his deep affection.
Perhaps this may seem like old hat to you, but to this perfectionist who thought she had to earn her way into Jesus' presence has found a whole new way to relate to our Savior, Jesus.
He's my Jesus. And he's yours, too.
Praying and believing,