His Presence

Photo Caption: The Left Behind series came out when I was in middle school, and being the voracious reader and Christian bookstore frequenter that I was, I had the entire collection. But I never got beyond the first book before I was almost completely paralyzed by the paranoia of being left behind. When I couldn't find my mom in the grocery, I knew I'd been left behind. When I woke up from a nap and no one was home, I looked for their clothes to be crumpled on the ground. It's kind of funny now, but at the time I was frozen in this fear, constantly praying a Sinners prayer and asking for Jesus to save me as insurance against my fear. And I never quite knew if it was enough. Last week, I took on a challenge that was out of my comfort zone and forced me to deal with things I'd been pushing aside or ignoring for three plus years. And as I began the trip, I prayed so fervently for the Lord's presence with me because I knew apart from it I couldn't manage. And the life I felt well up within me, the joy and power and peace that was with me, I knew that it was a glimmer of life that we have when we know Jesus. It was a quiet confidence that I sought desperately as a kid. It was a joy that I haven't known in a long time. And it was all the coming alive through Jesus, I just know it, friends. It's scary to choose Jesus and put all our hope on Him, even though he chose us first. But the life that comes with that is more abundant than anything we could dream up ourselves, and all the glory to God when we believe him and let him work in us.

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