When I first found my faith, you were there. I remember it. At first, it was questionable, but every day as I grew firmer in grace you came closer. When my heart was wholly in God’s hands you had become a regular addition to my life. You were even a little predictable. When temptations didn’t work, you moved on to family and friends. When they wouldn’t waiver you worked outside the box. Illness, stress, relationships, even loss of loved ones.
You liked to work on my temper, my social issues, and how hard it was for me to say no. I loved it when I found you in the middle of my mess. Like a baby deer in headlights you leapt away knowing the name of Jesus was just behind my lips. But, to your credit, you never came back with an old trick… at least not the same way. You are the king of subtlety and calling audibles. Slinking back before I could finish laughing at your escape, I barely noticed how you changed your advances.
When we were constantly at odds life felt complete. Everything made sense. Good versus evil, good always wins, it just felt right. Like Wile E. Coyote you would scamper away, the victim of your own disobedience, while my Savior protected, healed, and loved me.
True to your name, I never even saw how you did it… That day, when I stopped turning to God for help. It was so casual and uneventful. Life calmed down and that rut felt like a comfortable groove. Church days brought extra rest, Bible time became TV hour, and Prayers were things I did to make myself feel better. They were more like checklists and observations than any semblance of conversation. And since I didn’t care to really converse, He didn’t choose to answer. Days turned to weeks and weeks stole away months before years finally ravaged a significant portion of my life away.
You did it. I let my guard down, I guess. I thought I had you all figured out. But your trickery dismantled my dreams, my hopes, my life, and my heart. Kudos on how slow and methodical you approached the situation. A violent attack would have been deflected and I always saw those coming. But you pulled the long con. Years and years passed while the pot slowly boiled beneath me. And to be honest, there were a few times where I actually noticed things weren’t quite right, but I preferred the new sauna I was simmering in. I was certain of my full downfall when I saw the truth in it all and reasoned that it would be tomorrow’s problem. ‘Tomorrow’… the battle cry of the defeated.
I did learn something that I somehow always knew. Once you had everything you wanted out of me… you didn’t want me anymore. All the drama, all the fights, all the cruelty of life diminished. Living just became a gentle sunny day. Sure, I was in quick sand, but it was slow and breezy and warm. It felt like being at the beach. Your absence was noted as much as His. With my soul no longer aligned with the Savior’s your time was better spent on someone else. We spent so many nights fighting. Battling. Maneuvering each other. And then, poof! You have better things to do.
This isn’t the first time you turned your back at the worst possible moment. Do you remember the cross? You turned your back on Jesus with a smug grin on your face. And you left Him to rot in that tomb for 3 days before you realized that you blew it. Not just literally, but eternally. And now you turn your back on me before your work is fully done. The man that blew away that stone has grabbed my hand again. I’ve found His footsteps. And His grace was fully prepared to accept one such as I back again. He doesn’t care where I come from or what you and I were up to. He just welcomes me back with open arms. I must say, coming back is different than the first meeting. This time… I ran to Him.
Have you ever hugged Jesus? I guess not, or you wouldn’t hate Him like you do. It’s incredible. And it reminded me of something. And I think it reminded you too. Because once we embraced, you shrieked. You showed back up in my life again. Years of your absence while I floated through life in a waste of inevitable doom and now I finally have something you want again. Forgiveness, hope, love, a Friend, a Father, a Lord, a God. You want those things, don’t you. Because here you are.
When I say, “I’ve missed you”. I mean that I noticed your absence. I observed how you only show up to take, destroy, ruin, and then move on. And here you are. I see you in the shadows. I see that hate and fuming regret drizzling from your teeth. I see resolve in your eyes. You want this bad. Just like Jesus, you had me… but you couldn’t hang on. I don’t want you back in my life, but I welcome what your interference means. If I didn’t have something good for you to take, you wouldn’t be here.
As evil as you are, you have a good tell. You don’t waste time on people who aren’t a threat to you. So now I know two things. I know that Jesus has taken me back and I know that you want me. You don’t want me back. You want me away from Him. I’ve become a threat again. A target for your cause. Where once I was afraid, now I can grin safely in my Savior’s arms. You want what you can’t have. Jesus won. You can’t ever undo what happened on the cross or in the tomb. While my soul may still be ‘in play’, I’m telling you that you can’t have that either. Because to take it, you have to go through Him… and we both know how that will end.
I know this won’t stop you, and we will be seeing a lot more of each other as I choose the light of the world. But one thing is different this time. I’m not just trying to save myself. Because I have already been saved, I will be trying to save others. I’m not ashamed to say His name anymore. I’ll speak it freely. The timid boy you once knew has a sword and shield. Where once I hid behind religion I now stand tall behind THE God.
I know better than to taunt you or tease you. No insults or threats here. I just wanted you to know that I see you have returned. And to be honest, it feels good. The world is right again. I am by my Savior’s side and you work tirelessly to pull me away. What a compliment you give. That I might be a threat to you. I know its not me you fear… but you know what even most Christians won’t acknowledge… That Jesus works through those that allow Him to. He isn’t bound. He just chooses to work were welcomed. And He is MOST WELCOMED here!
I never chose you, but you tricked me once. I do not welcome you in my life, but now I understand why you try so hard. You know given the choice between a hateful, spiteful, selfish, evil, demon and a loving, saving, forgiving God you wouldn’t have any volunteers. So you pervert the game. You obscure the rules, and you confuse the players. You corrupt and rot because you don’t have the ability to compete fairly. God creates and heals. You make the valley of dry bones and God resurrects. You spread disease and God cures. You dismantle families and God reunites. You cheapen and God restores.
Who would choose you? Not me. Not again. I’m taking the narrow path. The one you have hidden behind lies, manipulation, and coercion. And until I go, I’ll be showing it to others. Signs, lights, markers, whatever I have to do. I’m not worried about me any more. It’s them that need saving. So stay with me. Send your worst. I can’t handle it, but my God can. And while you piddle around with bad days, corrupt governments, illness, money issues, and any other obstacles you can conjure up, I’ll be too busy carrying the lost away from you to notice. I’ll take your temporary misfortunes and hurtful accusations. I’ll take poverty and loneliness too. I’m just not interested in this world anymore. And that is all you’ve got. You can’t offer ANYTHING that won’t burn away.
I’m going home… and I’m taking them with me!