Has God ever knocked down a door or a wall trying to get to you?
Last night I was wrecked in worship…
Has that ever happened to you….where pieces of your past resurface as you’re singing out to God?
That was me just last night as a few of us gathered in the high school room at church to spend some time talking and worshipping together…I’m sure God’s been having some knock down fights in that room lately as He pursues students to abandon the things of this world and follow after Him.
I was taken back to a hard yet holy night when I was a young person as we sung the words of Cory Asbury’s song:
It was the fall of 1984 my parents were much younger in their faith and I was still trying to figure it all out. They had been transitioning from a faith handed down to them from their parents to a faith of their own. And although I was being introduced to a new view of God it was still quite difficult for me to dismantle the one I had held in high regards for years. The one the church I had grown up in had taught me… that He was a God who peered at me through spectacles and quite honestly the one I seemed to be failing desperately.
I was lost in an endless cycle of displeasure with Him and I really didn’t know what to do with Him in my life!
Every time I confessed my failings He seemed to be keeping an eye on me from a distance and I seemed to be trying to desperately run from His sight.
His piercing eyes of judgment were too much for me!
I needed a place I could run and hide from all the shame and guilt of never being enough!
This was my sorry view of God when I tried to escape His convictions that seemed to be chasing me around in circles.
A friend of mine, not a good friend really it was just a friend from school who I seemed to hang out with whenever I needed to get lost which was happening more often than not these days. She had asked me to spend the night at her house where she was planning to throw a party. Her parents were leaving her alone for the weekend and she thought it was a good way to spend the time alone. So I asked permission from my parents to stay with her for the night of course not mentioning her plans to throw a party. Not very late into the night I heard a door knock and I answered it to find my parents standing on the other side…my worst night mare came to life. My two world’s were colliding. In my intoxicated state I immediately left my friend’s house and got into the back seat of my parent’s car and shamefully rode home. At our house I fell into the arms of my Mom and told her how sorry I was and asked her why they came looking for me that night. My parents told me they went for a ride and felt a leading to stop my friend’s house as they felt like something was wrong…
Last night…34 years later as we sung the words of ‘reckless love’ I recalled God’s love for me that night….
‘And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it…There’s no wall You won’t kick down…Coming after me’.
The reality was that night God knew He had to send my parents chasing after me…He knew I needed Him to kick down the front door to our party for Him to rescue me from danger. I needed His reckless love to pull me away from the enemy’s plans for me….this is the ‘reckless love’ of God that taught me He loves me so much.
That night was a pivotal moment in my faith…life was bruising and beating me up as I willfully allowed it to. I was chasing after something to stop the bleeding of my broken heart. I hadn’t found what would heal me so I just kept going to what numbed the pain and allowed me to forget for a moment the hurt that I felt inside…these are the places we can get lost in the cyclical spin of hopelessness…and that’s where God fought for me.
Sometimes we just want someone to come & find us because we’re lost in a game of hide & seek and we feel forgotten and unseen.
That’s where I was that night.
God knocking on the door that night was what my soul longed for, to be chased down in my brokenness…the place I was in was a hard place stuck in pain.
Yet God in His courageously and gracious love knew just what I needed.
Sometimes we can all feel like we are laying wide open exposed and ugly for the world to see but God has a way of bringing his white sheet of soft protection to us wrapping us up in His unending love and carrying us home.
As I laid in the arms of my Mom that night, my Dad and her did what they knew was best. They told me that they wanted to pay for my brother, sister and I to go to a small Christian school they’d heard about in another town. Where we lived in Maine these kinds of schools were far and few and yet they wanted to give us this opportunity…
I felt God’s love encircling me that night as they planned a rescue for me.
‘When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me’
But walking away when the school year had just begun and my junior year of basketball had just started, was huge. The newspaper had just interviewed my coach that day and was already printing her predictions for the season; one of them being me. She had not only named me as an upcoming player to keep an eye on but as one of the team captains. I would be walking away from a piece of myself that gave me my identity.
As I laid there in bed that night though I knew it was the path I needed to break away from the destructive lifestyle I was living. I agreed to go to the school. I told my coach my plans and surprisingly she agreed it was just what my life needed….
‘When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me…’
Courage came into my life that night because Christ entered it!
You see when Christ came in for me it didn’t matter what school yard He found me in, it only mattered that I let myself be found!
He became the open door and open arms I so desperately needed…my safe place in His embrace.
When our life is stuck in a hard place, God can come in and restore us.
And when life gets really hard and really stuck it’s His presence that transforms that place for us.
‘When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me’
For wherever God is…it is here where life begins.
Without Him our lives seem to be dying away but in His presence our lives get reborn. Because God is with us, in us and FOR us!
We find our lungs fill with air, our bodies get strengthened and our broken hearts find healing when Christ’s love finds us…God is a story-chaser and chases down every single one of us!
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah…’
Maybe today you are like I was that night years ago… in a hard place of suffering of your own…wondering if you’re seen by any one at all…
going to great lengths to get yourself seen….posting pictures of yourself hoping for the ‘likes’ to put you on a chart of their own….
know sweet sister-
He sees you and is pursuing you!
Let yourself be found, dear one.
I can speak from experience until you let yourself be split wide open you’ll never really be found and find the healing you’re needing.
Believe me if I’ve not lived it I’ve seen it all…I’ve watched God take a broken heart busted up by murder get redeemed, I’ve seen arms so cut up in hope of disappearing find healing, I’ve watched women who took the life of their firstborn be given children to love again and I’ve seen marriages destroyed by one night stands find love again. Women who have sold their bodies find their true worth in Him and I’ve seen men so enraged with anger find a softening of their hearts by Him…There is nothing His love doesn’t have the power to restore and that includes you & me!
Go ahead sweet one, go toward His pleading pursuit and let Him show you the never-ending reckless love that He has for you!
Story trading is my passion…if you’d like to tell me a little bit about yourself and how God has/is pursuing you, share your story in the comments.
Or if you think my story will help someone you know share it with them and let’s change lives one story at a time!