His voice shook, his eyes filled with tears, his man strength broken. Brought low in every way. I stood outside his car door looking in at him utterly broken. He saw despair, pain, and weakness. I saw the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen in my life. His heart cried out in agony. My heart filled with sheer joy. Not at his pain. But at the sight of a man pursued passionately by the God of the universe.
“Is God testing me?” His eyes spoke what he was unable to articulate.
“He is pursuing you.”
I witnessed the God that created this man, pursue him. I was an outsider, my view was different from his. I so clearly saw the pursuit. It was a prayer I’ve prayed for 14 years. That my dad would come to a point of accepting the gift of salvation through Jesus.
14 years ago, Steve and I accepted Christ. Both of us “believed” in God all our lives. We weren’t saved. Both of us attended church periodically. We weren’t saved. Both of us were raised hearing about God and believing. We weren’t saved. Until we were months into our first year of marriage and we were each being pursued by another. Individually, we each felt another pursuing our hearts. One was pursuing us who wanted our whole heart and wanted us to see the love He wanted to shower on us that we would never receive from each other or anyone else.
From the moment of our salvation, we have prayed for family and friends who we want to spend eternity with in Heaven. Several days ago my dad stayed with us for a long weekend. I watched the pursuit. I prayed that irresistible grace would pour over him like a crashing wave. I watched the wave break over him. Then the moment came when he said he felt Christ was pulling him. He told his mother he felt Christ wanted him to find Him. His mother said He wouldn’t be hard to find. He told me he was ready. And Jacob, Andrew, and I received one of the biggest gifts of our lives when we sat with him leading him to the God who created Him, the God who sent a Savior to die for him, and the God who desires to work through Him bringing glory to the Father.
His full story is not mine to tell. My story is one of watching a love story unfold in the life of one of the people I love most in the world. Each of us has a story to tell. Do you remember when you felt pursued by God?
If you have not placed your faith in Christ, do you feel him pursuing you? Do you feel a tug at your heart? Do you see His goodness laid out before you?
He pursues you because He loves you. It’s the purest love.
My dad realized what every believer understands after they have trusted in Christ. He is now free. He is forgiven. He will spend eternity in Heaven. He will experience joy in the midst of pain while here on Earth. Now there is hope for him. He realized salvation was a gift, not a burden.
A misconception is that when we place our faith in God, life becomes less fun and dictated by rules. That is a lie of the enemy. Satan is a deceiver and he desires to make you believe that God wants to be your boss and rule over you, taking your freedom away. It’s a lie.
Accepting Christ I found freedom. I’m not ruled by anything. I’m free in Christ. He isn’t a dictator. That is why He doesn’t force us to come to Him. He gave us free will. He gave us freedom to choose or to reject Him. Satan desires for us to forget the Creator of the universe could force us to come to Him, but He loves us too much to do that. He wants us to come to Him because we love Him. And when I wrapped my head around that, I fell madly, deeply in love.
To the point that I don’t care how crazy people think I am. I will stand before Him one day and will give account of my life. I don’t want to stand there and hear him ask me why I wasn’t more bold, why I held back sharing about Him, why I was ashamed of Him.
He took on shame I can’t imagine. A perfect, sinless man hung on a cross. Is there greater shame than that? He took shame for me. Why can’t I take shame for His sake?
God has ignited something in my heart. Watching his pursuit of my dad, watching the circumstances and people He used to reach him, watching the lengths He went to in order to make Himself heard has rekindled a flame.
It’s awakened a passion in my heart for Him and making Him known.
Where do you feel God rekindling a flame in your heart? Do you feel Him pursuing you?
Would you be willing to share with us here? Share where you hear God speaking to you? Where you see God moving. Where you see God pursuing? Where you see God in your everyday?
Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just know God is leading me somewhere. Somewhere towards you, to draw out your stories. Your story could be what sticks in the mind of someone who needs some encouragement, who needs to know God is real, who needs to know God pursues. And if you don’t feel comfortable sharing publicly, would you consider sending me an email so I can share your story anonymously?
And here’s a picture of me with my dad, my new brother in Christ.
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