I’ve been asking God for something lately. For a long time, my quiet time has been routine, to the point that I’d almost rather sleep than get up and spend time with God. It’s like when you’ve been around someone for a while and you suddenly run out of things to talk about. That’s not a perfect analogy, but it kind of became, “Hey, God. It’s me again. In my same old chair with my same old stuff. Surely you’re getting bored with me.”
So a couple of weeks ago, I started asking for more. More of His face. More in my heart than in my head. More understanding. More love. More passion. More of just HIM. And I got up, and I came to quiet time, and I got… the same.
But I kept asking because, especially with Easter coming, I crave Jesus. I crave His face. I crave the time when He was my very best friend, closer than my next breath, everything to me in a way that, like David Crowder says, makes my heart turn “violently inside of my chest.”
On Wednesday, I got to watch “The Passion of the Christ” again. I haven’t seen it since it came out in theaters, and I didn’t expect it to have the same impact watching in a classroom full of 8th graders with three other teachers. But let me tell you… God told me in no uncertain terms when those lights went off in that room that He was dealing with the kids. I was to let Him deal with me. No preconceived notions. No thinking I had to “feel” anything. Just letting the Holy Spirit have His way.
And did He ever. I didn’t cry this time over the way He looked at Peter like I did last time, which surprised me. But during the beating, there came that moment when He pulled Himself up and took more. And in that instant, He whispered in my ear, “I took every lash for you. Every one, you were on my mind. And I was thinking you wouldn’t have to endure this because I’m enduring it. I could have stopped this at any second, but I kept your face in my mind and I took it for you.” Right there. I was undone. He didn’t have to. Lord Jesus, you didn’t have to. You could have said, “Hey, this is enough. She’s not worth it.” But you didn’t.
And believe me, when He says He was thinking of me, I believe it. Jesus has this incredible capacity to be thinking of us individually all at the same time. It’s easy to imagine Him thinking of us collectively as “the world,” but so much harder to realize it was a world full of individuals on his mind one by one the whole time. That’s the capacity of His thoughts, all of us, individually, all at once.
And, once again, there came that moment pulled from Revelation 21:5, when Mary comes to Jesus on the road and He says to her, “See, Mother? I make all things new.” That’s it. Right there. Why He did it. Oh, if you could only feel what I feel right now! To make me something I’m not. New. Clean. Sanctified. Holy.
And if He would go through all of that, why in the world would He ever turn His back on me because I screw up? Because I can’t seem to get “where I should be”? He won’t. He wouldn’t endure that just to throw His hands in the air later. He wants a relationship with ME. A real one. One that changes from day to day because I change from day to day. One that is authentic and not what I THINK it should look like. One that is mine and His, and that looks like us together. How awesome is that.
Oh, how He loves…