I grew up in church, I can’t remember a time in my childhood when I wasn’t in church. We went three times a week, rain or shine. And it was a great church. I have such wonderful memories of this time. It was here that God began a work in me, a work He would be faithful to complete.
In college, like many teens, I drifted away from God. Beginning to do my own thing, and for the first time ever I wasn’t in church. I was living for me.
He wasn’t finished with me. He was not willing to let me go my own way. The Bible says that the one He loves, He disciplines. And God brought discipline into my life by taking from me people whom I loved, who meant the world to me.
And by doing this, He drew me back. He stirred the dying embers of my heart, and established in my heart, in my life an amazing love for Himself. Though alone, He was my best friend. My highlight of the day was my quiet time alone with Him. He was the lover of my soul.
Fast forward a few years and I was found in Seminary, training to serve the Lord overseas. Daily, I was able to sit in chapel, and hear God’s Word preached. Daily, I was able to sing praises to Him.
Then I graduated, got married,had a little boy, and off we went to serve our first church.
And life was not the same, not so easy.
The busyness of life seemed to interfere with my walk, with my passion for the Lord.
And through the years since this time, serving in other churches, living overseas. When I look back it seems my walk with the Lord, my passion for Him has been a roller coaster.
Sometimes, it has been high. When it seems the communion with the Lord is so close, so intimate. Then there have been times when it has been low, when the Lord has seemed so far removed, so far away. And there have certainly been times of plateau. Times when I was neither hot, nor cold, but lukewarm. Found to be doing what is expected, found to be going through the motions, and yet missing HIM.
This morning as I sat in church and sang, my heart was yearning for HIM. And I was reminded as I sat there of the times in my life when my walk with the Lord was closer, more intimate. And I longed for that now.
Having served the Lord full-time for about 17 years now, I know that there are mountain tops, there are desert times and there are valleys. I realize that we don’t live on the mountain tops, nor in the desert. But that most of that time we are in the valley.
Yet, I realize that even in the valley, no especially in the valley, God is still at work.
Though I’d love to experience the mountain tops more. I’m also aware of the fact that if I lived there, I would need Him less. Though I’d rather avoid the desert, I know that without the desert I’d never learn to depend on Him. And I know that God uses the mountains and the dessert to prepare me to live daily in the valley.
Just as there are seasons in life, there are seasons in our walk with the Lord. Yet, that does not mean we must not seek Him. God puts that yearning in our hearts for those closer times, so that we will draw near to Him. He reminds us of the mountain tops, and invites us to come away with Him.
As I look back on my life, one thing is for certain, the work He began, He has been faithful to continue, and though He is not done with me yet,I know He will be faithful to complete what He started.
And the same is true of you…
Don’t let the business of life keep you from your true Love. Don’t let the rituals of worship keep you from the Lover of your Soul.
Seek Him, seek the things of Him, and watch as the things of this world become insignificant as you realize the significance of the One you serve. The One who loves you despite yourself, who died in your place, who paid your ransom, and who longs to be your greatest desire.