I grew up going to church most days from middle school through high school. I formed an opinion that God put us here on earth to do live out His ways as best we could and that He would hold us accountable at the end of our lives. Suffice it to say, that was a terrifying prospect. I saw God most like my physical education teacher, Miss Treibel. She always had a whistle and a stopwatch hanging from a lanyard around her neck, a red pen behind her ear and a clipboard in her hand. From time to time, she would write with the red pen on her clipboard. I could imagine God in a similar way taking note on all the things I did wrong, waiting for the day when I would stand before Him to give account.
Presidential Physical Fitness tests were the rage when I was a kid. Not being much of an athlete, I got through many of the exercises– push ups, sit ups, 100 yard dash– but there was one that was dreaded– the chin up bar. I had two class mates that literally competed with each other for the best time– over a minute each. When it was my turn, I got a boost up, got my grip. Then my arms started wobbling violently, and not so slowly, my little arm strength failed. It was all of 15 seconds. Mortifying.
That was how I envisioned my moment before God. It would be mortifying. Worse than that. I already knew I could never live up to what God required. I would be lost.
God Himself provides a different point of view. In John 3:16, a friend shared with me, “For God so loved Andrea, that if she would believe in Him, she would not perish, but have eternal life.” In that instant, He transformed my view of Him. I could picture Him with arms wide open, saying, “You’re right. You can’t do it on your own. I did that for you.” He went to the cross so that I wouldn’t have to depend on my own efforts to reach Him. He made a way Himself by giving His own life in exchange for mine.
In another place in the Bible, He says, “Come to Me, all you who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I love that promise. Getting to know God has been the best journey of my life– an adventure day to day. It’s been a rest from my own efforts of trying to live up to what He teaches and trusting Him to give me eternal life, as well as daily strength to love and serve Him.
If you would like to know Him, too, it’s as simple as asking Him. maybe like this.
“Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. I’m sorry for going my own way. Please forgive me for all my sin. Thank you for dying on the cross to pay for my sin. I want to follow You as my Saviour and Lord. Please come and take first place in my life.”
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A great website to learn more about growing in your relationship with God is Following the Path