Over the years I’ve been asked to tell my story, how I became a believer and what happened the first time I “encountered” Jesus. And there have been times that if the opportunity came where I could say, “PASS”, I would have because my story, well, at the least the beginning of it, is really rather uneventful.
I almost feel embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember the beginning of the most important relationship in my life.
I don’t know the first time that I encountered Christ. There’s not a day that I have recollection of that I didn’t know Him. I grew up attending Sunday School and remember coloring pictures of Jesus as He sat with a throng of children around Him at the tender age of three. That much is clear. Going to church has been a part of my weekly routine in life since my parents found it fit for me to ride the short distance in my car seat and be shown off to the world.
There was never a time that I didn’t believe in God or that He sent His Son to die on a cross to forgive me for my sins. I sang in the children’s choir, participated in countless Christmas plays, joined youth group as soon as I was old enough and went on to become the president. I went to church camp. I gave my life to Christ at the foot of a sixteen foot cross beneath a blanket of stars.
There were the times that I turned my back on God and went against my parents and His wishes as I lived out my teenage years and early twenties. But I never stopped believing that He was there, still loving me.
Though I continued to believe in Him and love Him, I didn’t really know Him.
In January the pastoral team at my church began preaching on the “One Story“. All of my life I had heard these stories. Adam and Eve. Abraham and Sarah. Daniel and the Lion. Jonah and the Whale. David and Bathsheba. Timon and Pumbaa (oops – I got carried away). But they were all just stories; you know, with a moral, to help me understand how I should act and the things I should do to please God.
When I first learned that the story in Genesis; the fall of mankind, was connected to the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ, I was flabbergasted. Talk about a jaw-drop moment!
I am thirty-one years old and it was only now sinking in that Jesus was the answer to the promise that God made to Adam and Eve, and the reasons why the Israelite’s were such a miserable group of people most of the time since they were expecting a human king, a conqueror to come and restore the kingdom of God. I was finally beginning to understand the significance of who Jesus is.
Annie puts it so matter-of-factly, but so accurately.
“Jesus fasted from heaven for thirty-three years.”
It’s taken me Thirty-ONE years to finally understand the significance of His humbleness to leave a throne of glory in order to enter this broken world in human flesh, to be born as a child, to grow and to learn and experience pain and sorrow. This Jesus wasn’t just a fictional character that resided in history books or on the pages of a coloring book. This Jesus willingly left His place in heaven to come take on the world for ME!
“It stokes my fires of courage, remembering that Jesus was human, that Jesus did some majorly brave things right here – right where I am. Single like me…Human like me. Sinless, unlike me, but tempted like me. And he took a risk on me.”
— Annie F. Downs, Let’s All Be Brave
For me… He took a risk on me. Bree, who fails Him every day. That Jesus; He’s a brave one!