In April I attended an upsetting funeral. Upsetting because the pastor ended his sermon, in the most genuine, heart-felt and believable way, talking about how awesome it will be at the end of our lives to run into the arms of Jesus. He said he couldn’t imagine a sweeter, more perfect place than in Christ’s embrace. Why would that be upsetting?
Because I could.
I love Jesus, but I love earth, too. I love my kids, husband, friends, feather pillow and coffee. I say I love Jesus more than anything and I do love Him, but I love what’s familiar, safe and known, more. I can’t touch Jesus or look Him in the eyes. My relationship with Christ isn’t the same as it is with the humans I interface with on the daily.
So, after the funeral, I began asking Him for help.
I told God I wanted Him to be the most important thing in my life, but I didn’t know what that looked like or how to get there. I told Him that for some reason, it was scary to think about loving Him more than I did my husband or kids. For many weeks in many different ways, I asked God to help me love Him…most.
And one day, He responded.
One morning while praying on a walk, my mind wandered. I thought about my son flying alone for the first-time last spring. I remembered how excited I was waiting at the airport for Casey. We hadn’t been apart long, but I missed him and couldn’t wait to see him. I scanned the terminal while hundreds of people walked past, blocking my line of vision. I waited with heightened anticipation for what seemed like forever, until I eventually spotted my son. When I finally saw his smiling face, my heart leapt.
I don’t remember what made me think of the airport scene while I was praying, but as I kept walking on that beautiful sunny morning, I distinctly remember what happened next.
God gave me a picture.
I looked up at the clouds and suddenly thought about Jesus coming down from heaven. He was looking for something. He was scanning all around, his eyes darting back and forth while He got closer and closer. Then His eyes met mine and He stopped and smiled…
And His heart leapt.
Tears filled my eyes as I finished my walk. I didn’t instantly long to be with God, but in the sweetness of that moment, He stirred my affections for Him. He made His view of me personal. He reminded me He didn’t just die for me—He delighted in me.
And in that moment, I realized I can never quit asking God for more; to love and know Him more and to know His love more. We cannot exhaust God’s love or know Him completely. And although I’m not holding a candlelight vigil for my impending death, God’s moved me closer to trusting the sweetness of His embrace.