Today I am remembering the day that I knew that You had found me. I’m recalling the lightness in my heart when I crawled off that worn piece of carpet in my apartment bedroom, as one who had been forgiven. I can almost sense the comfort of those sheets on that old bed (really, just a mattress on the carpet) when I got up off the floor and rolled into them as one who had just been freed. You gave me peaceful rest that day, and it was the first time I could ever recall feeling true calmness in my heart. I was twenty-four years old and had experienced a rescue from You that, still today, I do not fully fathom. In that moment I knew that You had shifted something in my soul, and You confirmed it over and over again during the next two days when I found that my former longings to get drunk or high had been completely removed from me. I felt the delight of deliverance as I had experienced something greater than those substances had ever offered me. You did that for me, my King. You rescued me. You made me new. You introduced me to shameless freedom. You loved me out of my self-imposed misery, and I was like a little boy set free in some all-expense paid theme park for the very first time. You lavished me with unexpected kindness. I was made to hear Your voice and was so surprised to hear its welcoming and affirming tone. My assumption was that You would be so disappointed and angry with me if I ever met up with You. That is why I ran from You for so many years – I thought that You would reject me for how I had been living and for who I had become. Thank You for blowing my mind and showing me mercy I could not have expected, grace I could not understand, and unconditional love that I had never fathomed. You are an unspeakably good Father.
Today, 22+ years later, I just want to say thank You all over again. The words themselves are not enough, but they are the best that I have. Lord Jesus, You have blessed me beyond what I can tabulate. Holy Spirit, I know that You are the One who draws alongside me, and the comfort and joy that You pour into me is priceless. Thank You! Abba – how nervous I once was to call you that! – you are my Father, my Daddy, my Papa. You have taught me the release of not striving to have it all together. You welcome me into Your lap, and allow me to rest there for as long as I desire. Once upon a time, You were merely my best idea, my highest theology, my consummate message. Those former days have graduated now into something more full, something more real. All of this, Abba, is because of Your relentless work of grace toward me. Now, You are my life, my hope, my joy, my longing. I now know better what You have done for me. Back then, I didn’t see it coming. I did not ask for it, but You determined to do this for me. I never would have guessed in a million years that this would have been your highest aim: to make me to know Your love for me, which has resulted in You becoming my own greatest love. You, Abba, made a God-lover out of me. No longer a mere God-fearer who honors you. No longer just a God-server who works for You. You rebirthed me into a God-lover who adores You. You have caused me to know, believe and sense that I am your very own son. I never saw it coming.
Thank You for making me into this. Thank You for not allowing me to continue to feast on inferior religion while starving on Kingdom intimacy. You are the eye-opening, spirit-enlightening, soul-expanding God. I never saw it coming. Now I will never need to fear seeing it leaving.
You have made me grateful and you have made me glad.
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