I recently heard Beth Moore say this about life with Jesus: “Do you want a wild ride of a life? It’s not a wild drive; it’s a ride…Get in the passenger seat, throw your head back, and let the wind blow through your hair.”
Author Peter Hiett writes, “If John (the Baptist) prepared the highway, Jesus rides a Harley down it and He wants you on the back.”
Then there is this from Dorothy Sayers: ” The people responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus never accused Him of being a bore—on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left to later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with a yawning ho-hum atmosphere of tedium. We have efficiently trimmed the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended Him as a fitting pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”
Brennan Manning once shared the story about a repressed nun named Christine who rarely smiled or laughed and never danced. One day in prayer, she had a vision where she was in a ballroom: “I was sitting by myself on a wooden chair, when a man approached me, took my hand, and led me onto the floor. He held me in his arms and led me in the dance. The tempo of the music increased and we whirled faster and faster. The man’s eyes never left my face. His radiant smile covered me with warmth and delight, and a sense of acceptance. Everyone else on the floor stopped dancing. They were staring at us…I glanced at his hands and then I knew. Brilliant wounds of a battle long ago, almost like a signature carved in flesh. The music tapered to a slow, lilting melody and Jesus rocked me back and forth. As the dance ended, he pulled me close to him. Do you know what he whispered?…’Christine, I’m wild about you.”
Chances are, you may not have thought about Jesus in the above ways. Sometimes He allows a season in our lives that shatters our preconceived notions of Him and draws us into unparalleled intimacy with the Lover of our soul.
A little over two years ago, in His infinite wisdom and kindness, Jesus decided that it was time for my wild ride to begin.
He was determined to fully engage my heart. He was undeterred by—yet sympathetic to— my resistance, my temper tantrums, my copious tears of confusion and self-pity.
My prayers for this season to end were answered with a firm but loving, “Not yet.”
When I begged for answers, He repeatedly assured me, “I AM the answer.”
When my Type-A-loves-to-be-in-control personality thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and was convinced that He was about to wrap all this up in a great big glorious bow, He spoke unmistakeably and powerfully to my spirit:
“Do not presume upon Me.”
His goal was for me to know and experience Him as He truly is…not as I wish Him to be.
Without a doubt, this has been both terrifying and electrifying.
No one can experience the risen Jesus and remain unmoved and unchanged.
I will never be the same.
Through it all, He has shown me a pathway that leads directly to His heart and I would like to share that pathway with you. All of our journeys with Jesus are unique and tailor-made. He is a Person to be known, not a religion to be carefully followed. There are no “three-easy-steps to intimacy with Jesus. So, I am not sharing a blueprint…I am simply sharing what He has shown me as I have taken this journey with Him, with the hope that you will find encouragement for wherever you are in your walk of faith.
Jesus longs to give us all of Himself. But so often, our wandering hearts continually look for something else. He intends for His followers to fully experience Him in this life, but every time we try to protect ourselves from pain and risk, we miss Him.
During this season, He was calling me to surrender to this ride, knowing that I can trust wherever He is taking me…which ultimately is straight into His passionate heart where overflowing joy resides.
I was ready to slide over and relinquish the wheel.
It was the best decision I ever made.