I asked my mom to share a post with us this week. I know you’ll be blessed by what she’s written.
God — The Great Initiator
By Jan Harris
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad (1 Chron. 16:10b).
Note: The song quoted below, I Sought The Lord, And Afterward I Knew, was written in 1878, author unknown. It's been a blessing to me for over 36 years.
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true,
No I was found by Thee.
Have you ever thought of God as the Great Initiator?
Initiator: One who starts things—the contact, the conversation, the relationship; One who reaches out; One who calls you by name.
Remember Adam and Eve hiding in the garden? God called out to them. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). Of course, God already knew where they were. Yet He came seeking them—moving them to seek Him.
Jesus called the disciples: Come, follow me (Matt. 4:19a). They had seen Him. They had heard Him teach. But they went back to fishing. He was the One who sought them out. Come, follow me.
One of my favorite stories is about the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:3-30). Jesus went to a lot of trouble to find her. He took the road through Samaria—a road Jews normally avoided. He sat by the well while His disciples went into town to buy food. When she arrived at the well, as He knew she would, He initiated the conversation. There are many things to learn about Jesus from this story. But I love most to ponder: how far will Jesus go to seek out a single soul?
God calls to us, too. When I’m too busy, or so tired I just want to collapse, or when—like Adam and Eve—I’m reluctant to face God because I feel guilty…He moves my soul to seek Him, seeking me. He reminds me that He wants—He longs—to spend time with me. With me! So I lay my excuses, and my guilt, at His feet. I worship Him and marvel at His love.
Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-tossed sea.
'Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,
As thou, dear Lord, on me.
In 1994 when we were forced out of our home in Colombia by the guerrillas, the storm seemed wild and furious. Some days I felt like I couldn’t hold on any longer. But in every storm, Jesus comes. He takes my hand in His. We walk together. I don’t have to hold on to His hand, because He will never let go of mine (Josh. 1:5b).
I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
Of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee!
For thou wert long beforehand with my soul,
Always thou lovest me!
Often, I tell God how much I love Him. But I know that the love in my heart is what He puts there. John wrote: We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) Left on my own, I never would’ve chosen Jesus. He’s the one who initiated. He chose me—loved me, pursued me, and wooed me. The love I feel for Him is my “answer” to the love He has lavished on me (1 John 3:1).
Father God, You loved me always! I didn’t earn your love. I never could. I never will. I don’t have to! Instead, You have chosen to “freely bestow” your grace on me through Jesus (Eph. 1:6).
In this truth my heart rejoices!
Joanna, Sending my greeting from Mexico. LOVE hearing others enjoy God's LOVE for them. I feel so LOVED by my Heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing your mother's blog. Call me this week. I am back from the UIM staff conference. HUGS . Olivia
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