Embraced by Jesus
The light of God’s love
One of the amazing mysteries about Jesus is the way he sometimes uses people who we interact with on a regular basis, such as the work environment, to shape our future – to demonstrate His will – sometimes in dramatic ways.
In 2005, I was doing some contract work. One of my work colleagues was an effervescent, bubbly young woman whose out-going personality made the work environment a more enjoyable place. This woman, was unexpectedly used by Jesus to change the direction of my spiritual life.
My contract finished at the end of October 2005, and on the Saturday I went back into the empty office building with the intention of leaving some farewell gifts on the desks of some of the people I had closely worked with over the previous nine months.
Everything was going smoothly, I had finished my round of placing gifts on each persons desk. I started to bask in my self-satisfaction that everything had worked out so well. A crystal flower was tenaciously sparkling in the soft filtered light of the office. It symbolised for me a type of innocence lost, like when we change from being a child to an adult but there is a remnant remaining, a rainbow of colours waiting and wanting to be rescued and released.
I sat back in a chair, content with the feeling that I had accomplished everything I had wanted to do that morning. I was on track for the three-hour drive back home. While relaxing at her desk, I prayed for the other people I had worked with and for a safe trip home. Then in a very casual way, I said a very simple prayer, “Lord, please look after this young woman.”
The next moment, my quiet composure was shaken by the voice of my Lord, asking me, ‘what was I doing with my life?‘
This statement reverberated through my being for the next four or so weeks. Now, when reflecting back to that period; the following analogy is the best I can do to describe my feelings. It was like I was a football player and I was given a break from the game and told to rest for a few minutes on the bench, while there I became too comfortable and fell into a deep sleep. I’m awoken by the coach roughly shaking me out of my deadly sleep with the words “I’ve been calling you for awhile, I have a role for you to play.”
The next thing I sensed Jesus saying, was, “this is my concern and love for this woman.” An immense wave of an incredible and beautiful emotion travelled throughout my body, something I’ve only experienced once before. That was in March 1991 when I first met my Lord and my God. For many months later, I could not recall this moment without tears. I immediately felt that my prayer was superficial in comparison to God’s level of concern and love.
It was, as if, I was holding a little birthday candle and He bought along the largest sun in the universe. The comparison made me realise just how little I actually loved anyone – in terms of my involvement and concern for them, as measured by my actions.
One major change; is that my love for others was previously driven by my mind, my response to a situation of need was usually to write out a cheque, send it off, and that was the end of my concern.
Now, one effect of that wave of love passing through me has been to set my heart on fire, albeit in a small way. For the first time I can love others with my heart as well as my mind, strength and spirit. He has helped my heart to focus on other people and to take the first small and clumsy steps towards loving others, in the same way, as He loves me.
Since then, my prayer life has been richer – being focused more on other people – than myself.
[I think it important to understand that God is sovereign and prayer is not an attempt to force God’s hand. Why then, would a person be prompted to pray about a particular issue? Surely, some may say, Jesus knows all about every issue and knows when and how His ‘will’, will be done. I believe the answer is found in God’s desire to have a relationship with us and he involves us in his work to strengthen and deepen this relationship. A relationship, built on a foundation of love and trust.
Looked at from another angle, I believe God is saying, pray for this person and watch and learn how my love works to bring about a perfect response to imperfect prayers.]
The first issue that I prayed about, regarding this woman, was based on the sense that it was important for this woman to have children, as she and her husband had been trying to have a child for a long time.
The second prayer point, and the most important, is for her to develop an eternal relationship with our amazing God – Jesus.
Overall, upon reflection, I think I made a real mess of things. I tried too hard to manipulate events into creating opportunities for me to talk about these issues. I became too impatient and did not give myself sufficient time to prayerfully seek God’s will. Yet, I trust He will pick up the pieces and put everything right.
Update: On 6 September 2007, this lovely young woman gave birth to beautiful, healthy babies; praise God for answered prayer. He is our God who eternally loves us and has laid down His life for us.