I’m not sure if you know the story of how I came into an intimate relationship with Jesus. It’s a story that begins, in great measure, with a very honest prayer that rose up from my heart in August 1998. I was 19 years old, about to enter my junior year of college, and I had finally gotten around to reading a book that one of my professors had given me in a previous semester.
Reading that book changed my life.
It was not the book’s intention, I don’t think, to bring me face to face with my lack of understanding of grace and of Jesus, but that’s exactly what it did. One afternoon, while sprawled on top of my bed in my apartment, reading the book, that realization became so real that the book fell from my hands and I bowed my head and confessed to God: “I don’t understand my need for grace, and I don’t understand my need for Jesus.”
I had known Jesus my whole life. I don’t have any memory of life without him, in fact. I was always aware of his presence near me, even as a very, very young girl. But the circumstances of my life and some of the natural proclivities of my way of being conspired to take me on a very long journey — the long way around, you might say — to finally understanding my personal need for both.
I’ve been reflecting on that very honest prayer of 13 years ago a lot lately. I’ve been struck by God’s incredible faithfulness to answer it. I think God continues to answer it every day, in fact, because my awareness of my need for grace and for Jesus only continue to grow.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because my life and mind and heart are full — so full — of Jesus these days, and I want you to know this Jesus, too.
For the next little while, I am going to be using the daily posts in this space to reflect on this Jesus I have come to know. It is my prayer that these reflections will create an opportunity for you to know him, too, if you do not know him yet — or simply to reflect on the Jesus you have come to know, if you already know him, too.