I opened up my Bible this week. Something I’m ashamed to say, I haven’t done in a while. I bought myself a new one so I was excited to jump in.
I started reading Matthew with the questions, why did others follow him? Why were people drawn to him? What did he do that people would abandon their jobs and families to follow a stranger?
I wrestled with these.
What originally disturbed me, was I felt people solely came to see him to be healed. Everywhere he went people were bringing him their sick. Yeah, he taught with authority, but it almost seemed like all the healing and casting out of demons is what was the real crowd pleaser.
I felt I must be missing something, because Jesus would not allow himself to be used that way.
When I was a child, and gave my life to Christ, I do believe I had the understanding that I was expected to live a life that imitated him.
However as I grew up, I grew farther from him and naturally, less like him. I knew him as my Savior.
I know I didn’t give my life to him because he was a healer. I was ten. I didn’t even know I needed healing.
But as an adult, he did heal me. Was it his healing what drew me to want to be closer to him again? I changed my life for him just as his early followers did. Was I using him too?
I had to be wrong. But what was I missing?
I remember exactly the night I cried out to Jesus.
I was 34 years old, divorced, eight months pregnant with my daughter, and was raising three little boys under the age of seven.
My boyfriend I was living with was an ex-con with four children he not only wasn’t raising, but wasn’t paying child support for either. His jobs were sporadic and far between. He was an addict of drugs, which he hid from me and alcohol, which he didn’t.
The last remaining days we had together were spent with him having a staph infection in his leg that required getting him to the hospital once or twice a day for an antibiotic that was given through an IV.
He wouldn’t always go and at night he would yell and throw things at me, demanding I not leave the bed because he was in so much pain from the gapping hole in his thigh, and I was suppose to care for him.
The night I cried out to God, he called me from someone’s house in Mesa and ordered me to come get him even though I was 20 miles away, was very pregnant and it was the middle of the night.
You know the last thing I did before I cried out? I got up at 1:00 in the morning and drove up and down US60 looking for him because he said if I wasn’t there by midnight he would start walking home with his infected hole in his leg and if anything was to happen to him, it would be my fault.
I couldn’t find him. I drove back home, laid in my bed and cried.
Please take this from me! This is not who I am suppose to be. Please take over because clearly everything I touch falls apart. I want to live a life that you want me to have. Direct me. Lead me. Show me what to do. I give up.
I would like to say it was the last of my boyfriend, however I would be lying. But that doesn’t mean God didn’t hear me that night.
Within weeks he was out of my life and I was on a journey of healing.
The funny thing is, I didn’t know I would be. I thought he would save me, but he did more than that. He healed me too.
So no, when I look back, I don’t believe I was drawn to Jesus because he healed me. But I do believe I was drawn to his love. And it was his love that healed me.
Maybe that’s what his early followers were drawn to, too!
His love is healing!
His love and acceptance freed me from my guilt and shame. He took my tears. He changed me.
He saved me in more ways than one. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why someone would not want to accept Jesus as their Lord, and Savior!
Before I became a follower and imitator of him, my love healed no one. My love enabled others which never freed them from their pain, only enslaved them more.
But Jesus can love through his followers. So if you don’t know, please PLEASE become a follower of Christ! He saves and his love heals.
And the question isn’t; what made me change my life for him like his early followers who abandoned their jobs and families to follow a stranger, but rather, did I really change my life? Or, did he change it for me?
Maybe their lives were transformed by his love, too.