“This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10 NCV
Every time I come to these Gospel scriptures that explain God chose me before I ever chose him, I am always stopped dead in my tracks. Every. Single. Time. And isn’t that the way it should be? When I finally understood what the Gospel is, it’s like somebody got in my face, grabbed my shoulders, shook me, and yelled, “wake up!” I hope for the rest of my life I will continue to stop dead in my tracks when I encounter Jesus!
And what about you? Has the Lord been tapping you on the shoulder? What will you do?
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalms 63:1 ESV
Thank you Lord for your Word! Your word helps me to know you. And living in the desert has helped me to understand you in a way I could not before living here. Thank you for all you’ve done in my life while living here in the desert. Thank you for reigniting my passion for hiking. Thank you for sparking a desire to backpack while living here in the desert. Thank you for each friend I’ve made here. Thank you for giving Robert a career opportunity here that will hopefully last a lifetime. Thank you for teaching me how to ration water here in the desert. Thank you for teaching me how to navigate in the desert. Thank you for allowing me to visit places I might never have seen, like the Grand Canyon, Zion, Joshua Tree National Park, Mt San Jacinto, Mt Humphrey, Sequioa National Park, the Superstition Wilderness. Living here has been one of the greatest adventures of my life! I am so grateful for what you brought me through! So many wonderful places and events and friends, I can’t even recall all the awesome! You have blessed me here beyond my wildest imagination! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I can’t wait to follow you on this thru hike called life and see what’s next! Over the next mountain. Through the next valley. The one constant I know I can cling to is always, ALWAYS, you Lord! I love you so very much!
Moving to Georgia in 13 days y’all!
“This is what the LORD All-Powerful says: “I have a very strong love for Jerusalem. My strong love for her is like a fire burning in me.”Zechariah 8:2 NCV
Where it says Jerusalem, I read Michelle. I turned my back on the Lord when I was 16. It happened when my dad died. I was so angry that I shook my fist at God and told him I’d never speak to him again.
Twenty six years later, I came to my senses and the Lord welcomed me home with arms wide open! Oh praise him! In the beginning, when I didn’t fully comprehend grace, I jumped into all kinds of ministry. Volunteering for so many different things. Going on missions trips. I had lost so much time in my anger. I had so much to make up for. The last big thing I did was serve with Mercy Ships. I thought it would be a career. I wanted it to be a career. But the culture shock and the transience of the volunteers, saying goodbye every week to people you fall in love with, it all became too much. I became sad and anxious and depressed. They sent me home. I felt like such a failure.
But God. He spoke to me and said, “Martha, Martha, you worry about so many things. Mary has chosen the good thing and it will not be taken from her.” Then he impressed upon me that I could stop. He loves me for me. I don’t have to do anything for him. There is nothing I owe him for the years I lost. He simply loves me. That was 5 years ago. He set me free from my guilt for leaving him. Oh what a Savior!
What about you? Has God set you free? There is nothing you could do that he wouldn’t forgive. So turn back! Run to him! You know he’s waiting for you too? Arms wide open!