In the comments section of an article I read tonight was a message to someone whose words spewed with bitterness in the name of the Lord.
You need a Jesus encounter.
It wouldn’t leave me alone, and so I find myself here after a hiatus filled with parenting, work, opportunities, worry, stress, stillness, and prayer. I’ve been in need of a Jesus encounter, and over the past few days, I have met Him again. Over and over. He has intervened on my behalf as I strive to work in my purpose. He has shown up in my social media. He even showed up on my car radio as I drove back into town this morning and as I drove through the countryside this afternoon.
I go to church, but I always seem to have these encounters outside of the sanctuary. They are always through people who are far from holy, super saved and sanctified. The songs that fill me aren’t played on the Christian radio station. And sometimes, the encounters I have do not even belong to me. Other people’s encounters, their spiritual awakenings, become my own. I have dreams that I’m only asked to give to their rightful owner, and when I do, their reaction becomes my encounter.
Things are shifting in my life. I am glad, because it’s been a long time coming. Doors are beginning to open, and ideas are coming to fruition. It’s a nervous, but exciting time in my life. While this is happening, institutions, ideas, and people are crumbling, falling, dying. Not in the abstract, but in my everyday life. People I love, institutions I claim. Youthful dreams are dying so that I may fully live in maturity and wisdom. My grandma called it a praying time. In the midst of it all, I’ve longed for a Jesus encounter. Perhaps in all that you are going through, you’ve longed for one as well.
I may just be a woman who sins a lot, repents a lot, and repeats the cycle, but I do know this — our Jesus encounters will not be in the obvious places if He is doing something major in our lives. He needs us to become more aware of our surroundings. He needs us to stop ignoring the unpleasant. He needs us to stop taking our everyday privileges for granted. He needs us to confront our demons. This is how He’ll encounter you. He is much more concerned about the parts of us that are lost than those that we’ve found.
In some way, through some void or ache, we are all the prodigal son. We are all women with issues, crawling through the dirt while being kicked by passers-by just to touch the hem of His garment. We are seeking our next confirmation that there is more than this. We are seeking the part of the resurrection that is entirely our own. And while we seek, we also become the encounter for someone else.
Have you had a Jesus encounter? Are you still waiting?