God loved me before I was born. Sometimes I just let that sink in. When I was inside my mom’s womb my creator loved me. Maybe that’s why I was born premature. I was ready to take part in His great creation, ready to experience His love.
A premature birth nearly cost me my life. Fortunately, a group of loving and skilled doctors worked round the clock to save my life and I joined my family after 13 days in the hospital.
My God loved me as I grew up. He loved me as I messed up.
Joining my family was the best thing I ever did, not that I had much of a choice, but if I did I would choose them a thousand times over. My parents taught me love and grace. They loved me as I grew up. They loved me as I messed up. They taught me how to have a relationship with God.
I’ve always known God loved me, but I didn’t start building my relationship with Him until I was a freshman in High School on a mission trip to Costa Rica (This trip probably started my love for Central America as well). Like any freshman, almost everything I did was meant to impress someone, or more truthfully a girl. This particular girl read her Bible every day, which I found very attractive. As we walked the beach in Jaco, Costa Rica and shared our hearts I knew my life would never be the same. But instead of falling in love with a girl. Instead of finding my “one”, I commited to reading my Bible. And that is when my real relationship with my creator began.
He loved me before that night and he loved me after that night when I messed up with girls and other relationships. He used that night to start something beautiful. A couple years later I felt Him asking me to be more committed. At that point I was a Sophomore in College, struggling with self confidence and reading my Bible and spending time with Him most of the time, but if I was too tired or just not in the mood I would decide not to open the Book.
It hit me though, He had always loved me and deserved more than an occasional night committed to him. At that time I was struggling to fall asleep, constantly worried about my life, what I had done and had not done. He told me to give him everything, each night. And so on December 23 2004 I decided to read my Bible and spend time in prayer each night for a year. Funny enough I hardly have trouble sleeping anymore. Funny enough I haven’t missed a night in more than seven years.
How can I worry when I know He has always loved me no matter what?
This commitment has been difficult. Like I said in my blog about running, Living Spiritually takes being attentive, being in position, and being submissive. I find being attentive and being submissive the hardest out of these three to commit to. Some nights I am just so tired and then sometimes I just don’t want to hear what God has to tell me.
I have often thought of giving up my nightly time with God, taking a break, but then I think that I might miss what God has to tell me. And so I continue.
Then this last December as I was reading through the Psalms, I heard God tell me to invite the rest of my family to live spiritually with me. Nah, it wont work, I thought. You’ll never know if you don’t try, I heard God say. And so I tried. Now, a month in I have noticed a change in my family. We are sharing our prayers with one another, sharing how God is working in our lives.
I have also noticed a change in my time in the Bible. The words have come alive again. This last Thursday as I read Psalm 139 God reminded me that he has always loved me. He has always known me. He made me special and strong. Even as I have lived each day perfectly or gone afoul He has loved me. He has seen my every action and He knew my every move before I even made them, and He still loves me.
He searched me. And He knows me. And He loves me.
How can I not live with confidence? How can I not show grace to those around me? How can I not live spiritually with this knowledge?
He has filled me with joy and I pray I do not forget this Psalm.
I challenge you, my readers, to open the Bible and start a relationship with your creator. He has loved you always, and if you join him on this Biblical Adventure His love will change you forever. It’s a ride worth taking. He has always given me the strength to continue reading and I know He will do the same for you.
Join me and my family in Living Spiritually.
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.