"We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end."
Last week my children and I sat in early morning light, reading. I looked around and asked them a simple question.
"What is the one thing you want everyone- friends, family, acquaintances- to know about you?"
I really expected some funny answers about being "epic and awesome", liking sports, or being smart. But my six year-old piped up first with this:
"I want people to know I love Jesus."
Oh, girl. You and me both.
One by one, the boys tried to think of any answer that was better than that one. No one could. We sat there looking at each other, admitting this one satisfying truth:
Loving Jesus defines us.
My thoughts ran back in time to the day I first learned that truth. It was twenty-one years ago today that my soul stood on a shore by a small boat.
The boat was the choice to belong Jesus, to dedicate all the days of my life to following Him, to choose to know Him and be known by Him forever. The longer I live, the less sure I am that there was any other choice I could have made that day.
I held in my hand the the gospel. I could not bear the weight of my sin. I was not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or talented enough to belong anywhere, and yet God wanted me to belong to Him. He loved me because He is far better than anything we can find here on earth.
I got in the boat that day and pushed out into the water. I've been navigating these waters ever since. This ocean has a name. It's called My Song.
In the last twenty-one years I have lived many things. I have felt loved and I have felt lost. I have laughed and I have mourned. In my weakness is God's strength. In my need is God's mercy. In my victory is His goodness.
Around me My Song forever stretches farther than my eyes can see. The words I sing over the waters continually change except for one. But always, I am singing His name.
For twenty-one years this been constant: Jesus has always been loving me.
So how could I ever give up on Him? Besides, never giving up is how we make it home. Let's hold onto our boats and listen for His voice. We will get there together.
Here's to the next twenty-one years and beyond.