Dear JESUS:8:23 AM
I am sitting on my couch in the comforts of my home where I am warm when it's cold, cool when it's hot, and sheltered from the raging storms. All of my four children are quietly sleeping in their beds and even my husband is silent from a hard days work. As the silence closes in around me I am thinking of You. As I stare at the plaque hanging on my wall which reads, "as for me and my house we will serve the Lord," I am thinking of You. I then look at the mess my kids have left from their school work and I see the globe sitting on the counter. I immediately envision Your hands wrapped around the entire circumference and children very softly singing "He's got the whole world in His hands." My eyes are then drawn to a picture on my refridgerator of my son Bear as a newborn and my mind drifts back to that moment when you are looking into the eyes of your newborn son and for a moment the world seems as though it is a perfect place. This could only have taken place because of You. As I am forcing myself to be still and silent I am becoming quite aware that my entire world is revolved around You.
For years I want You to know that I spoke of You, that I attended church every time the doors were open, that I checked the "Christian box" underneath the church affiliation section of each and every form that I have ever filled out. I even sponsored a family at Christmas and sent supplies to an orphanage in Africa. I've sent out sympathy cards in Your name, I've volunteered in Your name, and I have also made it a point to say "I am praying for you" to anyone that I knew may have been struggling. And now, for all of this, I want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry that I was so blind as to view my faith as mere religion, as if I was somehow going to bring before you my good deeds and with my fingers crossed behind my back hope and pray that they would be good enough that you would see me fit for Your kingdom. I am sorry that I so completely undermined your death and more importantly your Resurrection by simply "playing church."
Jesus, I know that You forgive me, as You have so many times before. I also know that You for-knew that there would be a time in my life when the truths of who You are would begin to unfold. That tiny voice that would sometimes plague me "is this all real??" would one day be silenced forever. I thank you that now beyond a shadow of a doubt I know that You are real. I know that the stories that fill the Bible are history that actually took place in this world. I know that 500 or more people saw you resurrected and that every one of Your disciples went to their death proclaiming that you were The Son of God. I know that the tomb was empty!!! Actually empty!!! Even Your enemies had to formulate a story as to why the tomb was empty. If the disciples really stole your body and hid it, why on earth would they die proclaiming something that they new to be false. Many have died for countless things they have believed in, but if your resurrection was merely "made up" then many of your disciples died for something they knew to be false. You rose.
Jesus your word is alive to me now more than it ever has been in my life. I can no longer begin to bring my works before you as if I could do anything to earn your affections. Instead I realize that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who created life and everything that is good. I realize that you chose to leave your thrown of perfection to come to earth as a man so that through your sacrifice I might have the chance to one day dwell in Your presence. I cannot think of your resurrection as a sweet little story with the picture of an empty tomb. No, instead I tremble at the fact that the Son of God would take on my sin as well as the sin of the entire world in order that we might have the hope of eternal life. I know now that "Faith" is NOT hoping that God is real. NO! "Now faith is being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we do not see." Heb 11:1 Not crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. You are REAL. You are MIGHTY. And I anxiously await your return. Any good that I might accomplish on this earth is ALL and ONLY for your glory, even though my ego may attempt a little credit. I serve now, not out of duty, but because I cannot proclaim who You are without allowing Your love to penetrate through me. Praise God that I don't have to be perfect and that You want my heart, not my check list. My check list might not, correction, will not ever measure up, but I pray that my heart will bring You joy and praise as long as I have breath and even longer after.
Sincerely and with all of my heart,
your loving daughter Jil
NOTE: IF YOU HAVE READ THIS TODAY AND YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO REALLY STRUGGLE WITH KNOWING THAT GOD IS REAL OR MAYBE YOU DON'T EVEN BELIEVE IN HIM AT ALL PLEASE SEEK THE TRUTH NO MATTER WHERE THAT LEADS YOU!!! DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS! DO NOT BE AFRAID OF WHERE THOSE QUESTIONS MAY LEAD.
I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel
On Guard, William Lane Craig