Optical illusions. They’re cool, and different, and weird all in one. You look at something, and it looks like something it’s not. Do you ever feel like you see God that way? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I can’t surrender to God, because if I do, he’ll take everything away from me!”? I confess…I have had that thought. The thing is, it took me six years of being miserable to come to the place of recognizing that God is not waiting to take. God is waiting to give.
On the evening of June 26th, 2008, I found myself kneeling by my chair in an auditorium with seventy other girls. I knelt down as a girl who did not believe in God, and who had chosen not seek Him. When I got up a half-hour later, I was a different person. What made the difference in that short amount of time?
I was afraid. That night when I went into that session, I was afraid to let God have my heart. I was afraid to turn my life over to him. He was, after all, a taskmaster. I had talked myself into believing he didn’t exist, so that I would not have to give Him my life. I believed that if there was a God out there, he was waiting to pounce on me, take everything from me, and control my life…making me miserable for eternity.
Now, let me ask you a question. If you risked your life for someone tomorrow, and they were afraid of you, even after you sacrificed for them, how would you feel? What would you say to them? I thought of God. He had given up His only son for me! His Son had died as the ransom required for my life! How did he feel about me, his purchased possession, who veiwed him as a tyrant?
As I knelt there, God spoke to my heart. He said “Hannah, I know you’re afraid, and that’s ok. I love you, and I want to give you life. You are choosing to destroy your life, but I want to give it back to you. I will take you, just as you are, if you will come to me.” That was it. No paparazzi, no fireworks. Nothing. Just the voice of God. “Come, just as you are.” I was afraid. I was trembling all over. The girls beside me told me later I was shaking so hard…they knew I was wrestling with God. But then something wonderful happened…
Somehow, I gave myself to God. And in that moment, I realized something. I was giving God my life, and he was giving back 100x over. He wanted to restore the years that I had allowed the locusts to eat. He wanted to give me abundantly above what I could ask or imagine, and suddenly, I realized something. When I view God as a taskmaster, or a control freak, or whatever you want to call it, I am crushing the gift He’s offered. My fear was causing God’s heart to ache for me. He had given everything…and I was unwilling to step over the thresh-hold.
A couple weeks ago, I found this song, and I thought, “this was my life that night!”. As I knelt there by my chair in uncertain fear and worry, and anxiety, determined not to let God control my life, He whispered these words to me, and that assurance set me free, to walk in abundance of life. Read, and be encouraged!
Come Just As You Are
Words and music by Craig K. Sandford
Come just as you are, don’t wait, don’t falter, don’t linger;
Come just as you are, He wants you near.
Come just as you are, don’t hold back because you are needy,
He is the Lord of Redeeming Grace.
Come just as you are, stained, fallen and filthy;
Come just as you are, He’ll wash you clean.
Come just as you are, no need to cower in shame,
He will transform you and make you new.
Come just as you are, afraid, worried and anxious;
Come just as you are, lie on His breast.
Come just as you are, place your hand into your Father’s,
For He will hold you and ne’er let go.
Come just as you are, tired of bearing these burdens;
Come just as you are, lay them down.
Come just as you are, here’s peace beyond understanding,
Come unto Him, He will give you rest.
Come just as you are, torn, helpless and broken;
Come just as you are, He will heal.
Come just as you are, unable to trust any other,
For He will comfort and bind your wounds.
Come just as you are, redeemed and so happy in Jesus!
Come just as you are, dance in His light!
Come just as you are, taste the joy of life that is boundless,
He is the Lord of Redeeming Grace.
Come to the Lord of Redeeming Grace.
There is nothing God wants more than to be able to give back to you the priceless things. Turn in your wood and hay and stubble, and reap the possessions that come only with surrender: peace, joy, love, and hope that is real. Hope is not wishing for something you don’t think will happen. It is waiting for the expected end…being sure that you will be the victor in the end. Hope comes only by trusting Jesus Christ. And so just as he called me, He calls you too…to come, just as you are.