Saturday, March 3, 2012

I had a dream ...

I had a dream, a wonderful dream. And in my dream, you came for me. You assured me of your love. You told me you loved me. And in that moment, eternity began.  ~Ruthie

The above words have nothing to do with romance or a man or romantic love for that matter. In fact, I really didn't have a dream. These are the words that were swirling in my head this morning when I woke up. I asked myself several times what these words might mean. And after awhile, I asked God. I got nothing. Yes, nothing. So I continued to ponder what it might mean and after pondering this for a while, this is what I've concluded: I think these words have everything to do with God and His love for us. He comes for all of us. He assures us of His love through His word and people and experiences and communicates His love for us many times over through life experiences, His word and people.

As a woman who believes in life after death, I believe in eternity. Life as I know it will end. This body that I have will end. It will not last forever but my spirit will go on to live forever and in a much better place, free of pain, and traffic jams and calorie counting. In June 1999, I came to know God and His love for me in a way that changed me on so many levels and in a very deep way. In that moment that summer, I received the gift of eternity with God forever. That moment was a moment of complete surrender. I gave God all my junk because it was too difficult to carry on my own. I confessed, I repented and made a decision to ask God into my life and heart. In return, God forgave me, cleansed me and removed feelings of shame and guilt and blessed me with a pure heart and the gift of salvation. From that moment on, I developed a sensitivity that allows me to see God everywhere. This sensitivity allows me to see people and circumstances through a new lens, a new set of eyes. He blessed me with spiritual insight and a heart insight. I see and hear things differently now. When you surrender your heart to God, it's easier to hear from God. I haven't lived a perfect life, not before June 1999 nor after but the difference is that I'm better in so many ways since June 1999 because of God's love for me. Love changes everything. It always does and yet I didn't become better over night. God is such a patient God. I'm thankful for that. "Better" has been a process, one that will continue until my time is up. God is always shaping who we are because He created us with purpose and because He desires His best for us. 

I won't deny that I've experienced seasons in my life where I drifted and faded away from God. Those were tough seasons because I rarely make wise decisions without His counsel. When I try to live life my way instead of God's way, life feels harder. There are many reasons why those seasons took place and I suspect they happen to many of us. I've learned that when I turn my back on God, nothing good is produced. I've learned the hard way alot in life and some of those times were seasons filled with incredibly painful lessons, so painful that I haven't repeated the behavior. And I hope I never do. And what I love so much about my Christian faith is that we're saved through God's grace. I love grace because it means I don't have to do good deeds to earn my entry into heaven. That would be an exhausting way to live life. Wouldn't you agree? Beloved reader, we could never do enough good to earn our way into heaven. The Bibles tells us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and when you hear the gospel message and believe it, and accept Jesus into your heart, you are justified by Christ and saved. Salvation takes place when we believe and confess with our mouth that we are sinners in need of our Savior, Jesus. Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to pay our sin debt. He did that for you and me and for all of humanity. That is what you call grace. Grace is God's unmerited favor. Grace is kindness from God that we don't deserve. And yet God knows we're going to be tempted and make mistakes from time to time but he does expect us to do better when we know better. And when we confess our sins and turn away from our sins, God forgives us. The Bible is pretty clear on that. He's the God of second chances who forgives every time we are sincere about our confession and repentance. When we stray, God always honors u-turns. When we're sincere about our confession and our repentance, to repent means to turn away, that honors God and in return, God honors us with His favor and His blessings. It's a matter of the heart and our intentions. God can't be fooled. He knows whether we're sincere or not. And that's why I love God so much. He doesn't expect perfection but obedience and a relationship with us. My walk with God is not about religion but about a relationship with Him. And because of His love and mercy, my desire to love Him and others and to do good feels natural and right and I like that. I like that alot.

Until next time,

xx, Ruthie

A whisper. It’s spoken softly in quiet tones. It’s hard to hear and easy to miss. And it’s often how God communicates with us. ~ Author Unknown