It was a Sunday. The sunlight beaming between the blinds shed light on the darkness of my reality. Where was I? I did the thing I told myself I would never do again...again. No more.
"BUT WHEN HE CAME TO HIMSELF, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." Luke 15: 17-18
That morning I "came to [my]self". I knew I couldn't continue to live in the pit. I was perishing of hunger. Only it wasn't the hunger of a physical kind. I was perishing spiritually and heading down the path to complete destruction. I reached bottom that day. I arose and went searching for my Father, my heavenly Father.
The year was 1995 and I was a Junior in college. It was the beginning of finals week at the University of Illinois. I ran that morning from church to church searching for someone who could help me. I ran and I ran. Church to church to church. Nothing. No one. Church had already let out. No one was there. Was there no one who could help me? Crying in desparation, I asked God, "God, please help me."
I ran to the farthest church I knew of on campus. It was close to my Freshman dorm. I had visited it once while a Freshman. That seemed ages ago. I found someone who would listen to me. They called a senior girl from their college group and asked her if she could talk to me. It was finals week and I know she needed to study, but I am forever grateful that she took some time out of her studying to talk to me. I wish I knew her name.
She listened, she advised, and she prayed with me. I knew I could not keep living in the same self-destructive way I had been living. I felt so unworthy of love of any kind--God's love or man's love. She spoke words of truth and grace. She doesn't know it, but she saved this soul from death by her words of grace. I hope God will arrange for us to meet in heaven so I can give this girl who gave up a Sunday of studying during finals week to help free a girl from the depths of hell a proper thank you.
She helped lead me back to the cross, back to grace, back to Christ, and back to my Father.
"And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and it alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry." Luke 15:20-24
Tears are streaming down my face as I read the verse above. Not only was I running toward God that day...God ran toward me. He was there with me all along. He never left me and never gave up on me. When I came to Him, He hugged my neck, kissed me and rejoiced that His daughter had returned.
I felt so unworthy to be called His child, but He said, "Bring the best robe...put a ring on [her] hand and sandals on [her] feet."
He took my old dirty rags full of sin and replaced them with "garments of salvation" and "a robe of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10). Not only did he cover me with a robe of righteousness, he has since given me the fatted calf as well. God has restored my life and has done above and beyond all I could ever ask or think. His blessings overwhelm me. I know the pit I was in and I weep at the thought of our Father's never-ending love and grace. Oh Lord, that you would love me even in my sin and rescue me from my pit of destruction!!! My heart rejoices and I am forever grateful!
Are you in a pit today? Are you hungry and thirsty spiritually? Arise! Run to Him! You will find Him. He has already found you. Although you may feel unworthy, God says you are worthy. He has a robe, a ring, sandals, and a fatted calf waiting for you.
Sue, beautiful post on how you literally ran to our Jesus. I, too, was desperate for the Lord in 1995, and went from one church to another. I even spent up to two hours at local Christian bookstores, but still felt empty. But one day in early 1997...I haven't been the same since.ReplyDelete