By Nancy Virden (c)2022
Who is God?
I grew up hearing about God and his only birth-Son, Jesus. A typical Sunday involved attending church and Sunday School in the morning and returning to church in the evening. Wednesdays my mom took me to prayer meetings- which were as it sounds. From various church members, I heard cries out to God for help, blessing, and forgiveness. Almost every prayer included thanking God for his love.
Yet in July 1976, this troubled and troublesome fifteen-year-old had a limited view of the Almighty. I thought he was angry and demanding. If he loved me, it was because he had to. Mixed in with this perspective was a false belief that no one could love me. Why would God be any different?
To me, surrendering to Jesus meant giving up freedom. God would demand obedience, and life as I planned it would be over. Yet he called me. I could feel it in my gut. My response was anger and rejection. “Leave me alone!” I shouted.
One Thursday, my mother and her friends gathered to pray for their children. I was at camp. The call of God grew stronger as if his Spirit was warning me that the path I was on would lead to a dead end. That entire day I mentally wrestled with God, straining against his pull. Arguing made me physically ill. Eventually, out of fear of punishment, I asked Jesus to be my Savior. That evening, my prayer was less-than joyous. “Now you have me, I hope you’re happy.”
It seemed that a good Christian should read the Bible. Determined to hold on to my status as “ok” with God, a few weeks later I opened the book. One passage stood out, speaking directly to a deep personal need. Only God could have known so precisely what my heart was feeling. It was then I realized God wasn’t waiting to condemn me. He was reaching out to bring peace to my soul.
Who is God? Hindsight is special. If I had to describe him in one word, as he has shown himself to me, it would be Tender. Quite the opposite of angry and demanding, he has gently guided me through fragile times, and never let go of my heart.
God’s love is not pity. His very nature is love. I am his beloved daughter. His love has been, and always will be, unfailing.
Father God, thank you for your never-ending love for me. I ask that you would forgive me of my sins. I believe Jesus is your only begotten Son and my Savior. I believe he died, was buried, and rose again on the third day so that I could be your child. Please accept me into your family and help me to grow in my understanding of who you are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Helpful Word
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.
How the Difference Maker Lifts You Above Depressive Thoughts (c)2020
More on Always The Fight:
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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