This past Friday, God called Anthony and I to fast for the day. During my time with the Lord that morning, I spent time in prayer seeking God’s direction on the “topic” we believed was the purpose of our fast. In the midst of praying, God softly spoke to my heart and asked me what I wanted - not from the fast - but from Him. I told Him that I wanted to know, for the first time in my life, what it was like to REALLY fall in love with Jesus. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son, I have asked Him to come take residence in me, I read my devotions every morning, I say my prayers, and I do my best to teach what I know to my kids so that as they grow older they will come into a mature and deep relationship with their Savior.
But who am I kidding? If, at 40, I can say that I still want to know what it feels like to REALLY fall in love with Jesus, then how can I expect from my children what I don’t experience myself?
So, when God spoke to my heart and asked me, “What do you want?”, I told him. I want to fall in love... with Jesus.
I know what it’s like to fall in love. I have a husband, I have children, and I have family and friends. To varying degrees and in different ways, I am in love with all of them. If I find it easy to understand love - falling in love - with one of these, why haven’t I completely fallen in love with Jesus? He is the one who has saved my soul from the pit of hell; He is the one in whom Eternal Life is given to me; He is the one who I run to when I’m in need; and He is the one who comes and sits with me while I worship.
“It’s a simple answer”, God spoke to my heart. “You know so much about Him, you’ve given your heart to Him, and your life is changed because of His death on the cross.” And this is where God brought my question to light...
“But, you don’t really know Him. How can you expect to fall in love with Jesus when you’ve never taken the time to really get to know him?”
And God was right. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my heart belongs to Jesus. I know that I will never turn away from the only way to eternal life with the Father. I know that Jesus lives and he longs to sit with me, minister to me, teach me, and worship with me. The only thing I don’t know is... Him. Why? Because I’ve never - yes, that’s right - never taken the time to read through the Gospel books of the Bible from start to finish. Yes, this is my confession, of sorts. I have delved through chapters, have memorized certain scriptures, and know of so many of the miracles he performed. But, I’ve never disciplined myself to actually read through each of the Gospel books from “cover to cover”.
So, I asked God, “What can I do?” And He answered, “Read my Word”. So, I asked, “What do you want me to read?” He said, “Matthew. Start with chapter 1 and don’t read anything else until you are finished with this book. Then read the next book, Mark, and don’t read anywhere else in the Bible until you are done with it.” Do you see the pattern God was creating for me? One last instruction from the Lord was that I was not to read through Matthew with the intent to study it. I was to read through it as if I were reading the autobiography of Jesus. Read the life of My Son so that you can know Him.
So, I did start. I opened up to the book of Matthew and just started reading. Today - this morning - I read a couple more chapters and discovered something... It’s one thing to open up to a chapter in one of the Gospel books and read an individual passage or story about, or from, Jesus. It’s one thing to acquaint yourself with Jesus feeding 5,000 from a few fish and a couple loaves of bread or turning water into wine. BUT, it’s something special to just sit and read through the life of Jesus, from one page to another, from one parable to another, from one miracle to another, and understand Jesus for who He is in whole.
As I read, I am realizing an even bigger truth... that I - not Jesus - have held myself back from falling in love. But I know this... at 40 my heart is falling.