The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
We've all heard people say "I found Jesus". I have always wondered what that means, what are we implying by that statement? Did Jesus wander away, was he distracted? Or maybe he briefly gave up on us and turned his back on us, leaving us needing to search for him once we were ready to invite him into our lives?
It could be argued that at the very core of this phrase is our need to feel self directed. It is true that God gave us free will, we can chose to follow Christ or we can chose to turn away. Sometimes, in our knowledge of our right to free will, we feel so full of self importance that we seem to feel that the existence of God is dependent on our belief. How very arrogant of us!!
God is with us every moment of our lives, the teachings of Christ are constant and consistent regardless of our willingness, or our refusal to, learn or follow. His love for us is true and unconditional, even when we chose to ignore it. Why would we chose to ignore such a great and unconditional love? Despite the fact that Jesus died to save us from sin, despite the fact that all we need do is ask and we are forgiven, declaring our intention to follow in Christ's path comes with an expectation that we will try to improve, try to move away from our sinful path and towards God, it takes effort, it takes sacrifice, it takes self denial at times.....and we are a people and a culture that tends to embrace self gratification in many forms!!
When I attended my Walk to Emmaus, I heard a rather good analogy. A husband and wife, married many years, were traveling down the road in their truck. The wife said "Why don't you sit with your arm around me when you are driving, like you use to?" The husbands response was "I haven't moved." I didn't get it at first. As usual, I was over-thinking things. I wondered, Is the husband implying the changes in the relationship are all the wife's fault? I went quite a ways down the path of thoughts about emotional distance in relationships being based on many factors, and not being the fault of just one person, before I got one simple fact. The husbands position in the truck could not have moved, he is driving......the steering wheel is in the same place, the brake and gas pedals are in the same place, he could not have moved!! Therefore the wife had clearly moved away from him.
God never leaves our side. He is there waiting to give us total forgiveness, to let us experience his unconditional love. It is we who move away.......We are as close to God as we chose to be!!
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Tonight, I say to you, I have not found Jesus!! Rather, I have finally opened my eyes and seen He was there all along.....waiting for me!! "I once was blind, but now I see......." Thank you Heavenly Father for the amazing grace and mercy you have shown me all of my life!! Thank You for waiting until I was ready to open my eyes and see it!! Thank You for the blessings you bestow on me every day!! Amen!!