I was listening to Jeremy Riddle’s 2007 debut album “Full Attention” on the ride home from church this week. You know how God will use anything, anyone, and everything to get something across to you? Well, He was working on me on Sunday with the title track.
Every time I think I can’t get any closer to God without being in Heaven Jesus shows me a way in which it could happen.
Let me back up a minute. The diagnosis of a life-threatening disease severely stumps your long-term planning. Your days are spent only trying to get past the pain, to stop the nausea, to stare into the 10x mirror in your bathroom and kiss your last lower eyelash away.
When I initially got told I was cancer free I landed in some sort of fog – perhaps it was a type of shock. Not because I didn’t believe it – no way – God had told me this day would come. But more because I was a little unsure of what that meant in the grand scheme of things. The cancer may be gone but the effects of it weren’t.
That’s what I meant when I said in Monday’s post that I was ready … but not prepared. Ready to hear the words “cancer free” but not prepared to live like I was. My mother kept asking me how I felt … heck if I knew! It took about five days or so before I really started feeling a sensation I hadn’t felt in a long while … I think it’s called freedom. Even though I hadn’t realized I was living in a jail. But now a wind kinda swept up under my feet and caught me away on it. Little by little I could start to think about the future again. A future that may include some bum feet and weird Brillo-pad-looking hair but still had infinite possibilities.
When you’ve spent over a year leaning hard on God and allowing Him to take over and you’ve been able to see that He absolutely does take care of what you need and that He absolutely is true to His promises – what more can you ask for? How much deeper can your relationship get? It’s scary but I’m getting a picture that the answer is: much, much deeper.
I sang along with Jeremy and realized I didn’t have to ask to see God’s face – I had just experienced it. Nor did I have to ask for His words to be clearer when I’d just spent 17 months falling head first into His Word on an almost daily basis. I had experienced His divine presence and it was truer and sweeter than I ever could imagine. And now here I was asking that His light burn brighter and His love move deeper and I shook my head laughing and asked out loud, “Lord, how could it?”
Remember when I said, “Don’t ever ask the Lord a question you’re not ready to hear the answer to?”
He must have said, “Let me show you,” and an almost imperceptible change happened inside me. I “turned.” Like I was on a switchback curve in the Rocky Mountains. All at once I felt as though I was stronger. Stronger spiritually. I felt I knew God. Not all of Him of course, but certainly more than I did two years ago. I could behave differently now because I have been treated to His incredible goodness. I could be truer to Him. I could show more of His love to others. I could abide more deeply in His love.
I’ve decided that growing in Christ is like making one turn after another on our way to Heaven. You turn just a little and whammo – you’ve got yourself more knowledge of God and more love for Him.
I wondered though … how can others have this without getting cancer or some other horrible disease and going through what I went through?
I don’t know. But I’m going to ask Him because there has to be a way. Every true Christ Follower has to feel this. I want you to feel this feeling – to feel spiritually alive – deeper in love with Jesus than ever before – with a knowledge that you’re living in the heavenly realms even though your feet are still here on terra firma. Like Peter said,
“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
If you’re a Christ Follower, His divine power is in you. It’s glorious and even though I can’t believe I could feel more rooted in Christ, I want to.
More, Lord, more!
Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!