The amazingness of God in the past year has been so acute. Who would have thought to think of it all? I find myself remembering that Christ promised He would make me glad, and finding that I did not believe. I didn’t know.
Everywhere I look in my past, there is Christ, urging me toward Himself- and when I look around the now, He is here still and the call is this: “Onward, Christward, you will not find Joy save in Me alone.” As when He called His first disciples, now He calls me: “follow Me.” How can I respond save by laying down my nets immediately and following? Would that I would follow more fully!
For years I alternated semi-despair and self-assurance. I knew the bitterness of trials without Christ to comfort (thank God I shall never be there again!). “I wonder now, Lord, what was it made me wait so long? And what kept you waiting for me all that time? Was Your love stronger than my foolish pride?” And His love was, and is today. That is why I need never fear that I will lose Him- I know that I will never leave completely: his is the love that will not let me go. It is a fearful thing to write- I must remember that I am “prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love.” I must tremble and cling desperately to Him always. And yet I know, at the same time, that He will never leave or forsake me. If salvation depended on me, then in my fundamental sinfulness I would never know Him- and even if once I could, it would never last. But salvation does not depend on me, and as Christ’s sacrifice was complete, so shall my salvation be. O the joy of knowing this!
My testimony is not elaborate, it is very “simple”. The fact is, it can be told in only two words: “He is.” Everything that He told us, He is. What I did not believe, He is. For years and years I lived in false assurance and aching and almost-despair. I knew, I saw in lives around me, that there was more, there must be more. It was very common for me to hear again & again these words: “look to Christ” and I would get so angry. I would even put it in words to myself, these words “Look to Christ! Which way is that?” Though really my heart was resisting, thinking surely there was some merit in me- but the there was not. I was a monster of iniquity. I began sometimes to see glimpes of the state of my soul- though I do not think I fully saw how vast was the chasm between me and the God Who filled with such fullness the lives of the people around me who knew Him. I did not see, really, until Christ had come, and filled that chasm. Somewhat unrecognizably at the time, in early 2008, I found everything I had been told of Him to be true. The morning dawned on my soul without fear of returning night. I was His, and He was mine. “What will you despair of now, Christian?”
One thing I can mention as something God directly (in a way I can see) used in drawing me to Himself is the life & death of a friend. When Amber Mathenia entered her completion, her witness did not die. She, being dead, yet speaketh. I cannot tell you how exactly it happened- all I know is that Christ is all, and that He is mine. O the depth of the riches of His kindness! At the very point of finding that I needed Him, I found that He was enough.
From that time I have found myself being drawn relentlessly into deeper and deeper love for Christ- and though my response to Him has often been far from perfect, His perfect love has always been sufficient, and I cannot go back- He will not let me, and His loveliness will not even let me want to completely. Particularly over this past year, I have seen Him show Himself again and again to be everything He said He was. Each time, it seems, I see that I had not believed before- I had not seen. And the blessed truth is, even now, “there will always be more for a finite mind to see of an Infinite God.” More! The “heights of love, depths of peace” are only “as through a glass, dimly.” What more may I see of Him? His “love hath neither brim nor bottom.” Onward, Christward! What heights of joy may I have yet to discover?
He has made me glad.