Monday, June 13, 2011

Jesus Found Me

Last week I had the opportunity to put aside everything else and just spend time with Jesus for a whole entire day. It was indeed water for my parched soul. I forced myself to put aside my many responsibilities and made God my priority for one day.

As I explained in my last blog, I’ve fallen into a terrible rut of relying on my own abilities and wisdom – never a good idea no matter how intelligent or talented a person is. Life just gets overwhelming. Too often I find myself running around being a very busy Martha (See Luke 10:38-42) trying to make everything perfect, trying to cross everything off of my to-do list – and I miss out on enjoying Jesus’ company, his presence in my life. Instead, I’m tracking down information for worship guides and editing newsletters, putting together agendas and attending meetings. I’m providing comfort for grieving children and their families. I’m driving my handicapped mother to the store, making sure she eats dinner and makes it to her doctor’s appointments on time. I’m listening to friends vent their frustrations and share stories of their incredible blessings – ones I wouldn’t mind being blessed with myself and yet knowing it just isn’t in God’s plan for me. Please understand that I am not complaining or blaming others for my cycle of inattentiveness to my relationship with God. That’s completely on me. I’m just trying to show how I get into this mess in the first place. I am going to be distracted and get lost in everyday life.

That’s how I went into my day of retreat – once again faced with this reoccurring battle. With prayer, in searching Scripture, and reading through devotional writings, I was hoping the Spirit would reveal a solution to my struggle. I kept being drawn back to the same four verses in Psalm 73 which became the prayer of my heart that morning: “Lord, hold me. Guide me and bring me safely home. You are all I want and need here on earth. You are all I look forward to in heaven. I am so weak and flawed Lord, and I need you desperately.” That afternoon the Spirit reminded me that my prayer was only one side of the conversation. After all, that’s what prayer is – conversation with God. I was doing all the talking and not listening at all. So I shut up and listened. That’s when I heard Jesus’ side of the conversation:

“Hush my little one, my child.
Dry your tears on my sleeve
and tremble no more.
For I am here with you now
and always.
Though you may not see me,
my eye is ever upon you,
watching closely,
ready to catch you when you stumble,
there to pick you up when you fall.
Reaching out for your hand
to lead you along my Way.
I am here to provide for and protect you,
to teach and to nurture your heart – 
the one I hold so tenderly in my hand.
I walk beside you
and before you.
I will bring you safely home
and watch for your arrival.
Your frailty and weakness I know.
I will be your fortress, your hiding place.
I will carry you through each valley,
In my arms you will traverse the rocky trail.
My footing is sure.
Rely on my strength and my fortitude
to bring you into my waiting arms,
into my glory,
and into my heart.”

I’m calling this poem “Jesus Found Me.” I know – If I started the day out looking for Jesus – why not title it “I Found Jesus”? Because when I was a little girl out in public with my mom, she always told me that if I got lost, I was to stop, stay right where I was, and she would come find me. I wasn’t to go looking for her. Rather I was to stay right there and wait for her to find me. It didn’t happen often, but when I wandered off and got lost – the first thing I would do is start running around looking for my mom. I would anxiously search for her until I became so lost, I didn’t know where I was or how to get back to where I had started. Then I would hear my mom’s voice echo in my head, “Stay right where you are – I WILL FIND YOU.” I’d stop searching and just waited in the middle of that big unknown until she found me. It never took her long to find me once I stopped moving. A little girl has a lot of time to think about how mad her mom is going to be when she is eventually found and every minute that ticked by just intensifies the anguish and fear I felt. However, when my mom found me, she’d proved me wrong by running to me, hugging me, telling me she’d been worried about me and was glad that she had found me. Then she took my hand in hers and we continued on our way.

That’s what my retreat day was all about last week. I just needed to stop roaming around lost looking for Jesus. Instead, I needed to stay right where I was and wait for him to come find me. And he did. He found me, ran to me, hugged me and told me he was glad. Then he took my hand in his as we continue our journey. By the way – I never got an answer to how to ensure I never get lost again, but when I do get lost again, I know exactly what to do and I know Jesus will always come find me.

About the pictures:
Fichter Fairy Gardens (May 2011)

1 comment:

Audrey said...

This is a very touching message! Over the years I have found that it is much easier to "bustle" about doing things than it is to stop, quiet my mind, and listen for God to speak to me. But, like you, when I do quiet myself he always finds me once again.