Sometimes I think my life is pretty unremarkable. Not really in a bad way -- I come from a great family, am surrounded by the highest of caliber of friends, have done relatively well in the things I’ve pursued, and overall am generally pretty “good.” I just don’t have a story of facing the odds, achieving the impossible, or overcoming the greatest of obstacles. I have a simple story of what can happen when a young girl is placed in front of the person of Jesus. I pray some of this resonates with you and draws you deeper into His heart.
Recently, I was on a run, crossing the bridge over the lake at my favorite park and, as I was reflecting on some dear friends and family in my life who don’t know the Lord or once knew Him but have since left Him (I can’t quite recall what had prompted this thought, but there I was thinking it). As I reflected, I sensed the Lord ask me “why haven’t you left Me?”
And with His simple question, I began to question whether my “unremarkable” life was really that unremarkable.
My earliest recollection of meeting Jesus in a personal way took place when I was in eighth grade. I don’t recall a lot about that moment, but I do know it’s what sparked a lifelong desire to know this Savior, who really loved me -- not because of anything I’d done, but because I was His. And, though there have been seasons where that desire to know Him was heavily challenged by my desires to prove myself worthy of the finite love of man, following each pursuit of fulfillment apart from Him, I found myself with nowhere worth returning but to Him. But it didn’t have to be that way. I could have left Him.
And, believe me, there have been (and likely will be) so many moments that I wanted to. I wanted to leave Him when my faith made me unpopular with my friends in high school. I wanted to leave Him when I encountered poor representations of His Church in college. I wanted to leave Him when I was in a relationship that’s “success” depended on my abandonment of my convictions. And most I recently wanted to leave Him when scandalous atrocities were uncovered in His Bride.
“Why haven’t you left Me?” I continued to reflect as I turned the corner and neared the end of my run. I started to run through some answers… “Well I know that the things of this world have left me disappointed and lonely… I know You are good and You love me… I guess I could have left, but Your grace has always given me a reason to stay.” And that last answer (inspired by the Holy Spirit, no doubt) struck me. Realizing that is the precise moment when my seemingly unremarkable life started to seem a bit more full of the miraculous.
My life is consumed with the divine, not because I’ve prayed my way out of the darkest times, not because of an impossible achievement, not because of what the Lord has done in a moment -- it’s because of what He’s been doing since the very beginning: remaining present, with His grace, always giving me a reason to remain with Him.
Sisters and brothers, I don’t know your story. Maybe you have a wildly remarkable moment you can point to, recall the Lord’s intervention, and claim His glory in your life. That’s a gift and a good for the Kingdom of God. But I do know this: our God is a God of breakthrough always -- not purely in the most dramatic moments of our narratives. You can claim His glory in His ongoing, perpetual intervention in your life -- in the very reality that you are seen, known, wanted, and loved by a God whose love truly will satisfy, whose new life is transformative, and whose grace will always give you a reason to remain with Him. I pray this Lent that the Lord makes you more aware of His presence in the unremarkable moments that are truly far more remarkable than we realize.
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