“Shepherd,” she shrieked, “Shepherd! Shepherd! Help me! Where are you? Don’t leave me!” Next instant she was clinging to him, trembling from head to foot, and sobbing over and over again, “You may do anything, Shepherd. You may ask me anything – only don’t let me turn back. O my Lord, don’t let me leave you. Entreat me not to leave thee nor to return from following after thee.” Then as she continued to cling to him she sobbed out, “If you can deceive me, my Lord, about the promise and the hinds’ feet and the new name or anything else, you may, indeed you may; only don’t let me leave you. Don’t let anything turn me back. This path looked so wrong I could hardly believe it was the right one,” and she sobbed bitterly. (Hinds Feet on High Places, 1955, p. 173)
I believe we all get to this moment, one day or another. This moment where being with Jesus is more important than what He can offer us. I’m not going to lie. For many years I followed Jesus because of the good that came with it. Heaven, miracles, and sometimes it even helped me fit in. But a few months ago I came to a place where the promises were not happening. I would pray and pray and for months all He would say is, “Katie, will you trust me even when you cannot see it.” ……… Thanks. Not what I came for. I want answers.
But one day, I remembered the above passage from the book Hinds Feet on High Places. The main character in this story, Much Afraid, goes on a journey with the Shepherd to the “high places” where she will receive a new name. Well the journey does not look like what she thought it would. It’s hard. It’s full of doubt, unbelief, and unbelievable sacrifice. So, close to the end of her journey, when she feels like she will just never get there, she says what I wrote above. She says if it was all a lie, she doesn’t care, she just doesn’t want to be without the Shepherd.
I know this place.
Now please hear me, I am not saying God lies to us. Because He cannot lie. Absolutely not.
What I am saying is there is another level of surrender that says, “God – I just want you. Even without all the perks. Even if you never do one more thing for me. Just don’t let me be without you.”
This is not an easy level of surrender because we have such strong beliefs that we need certain things in this life. And I think Jesus wants us to realize we just need Him.
He is enough. If the cross was all He ever did for us, it would be more than enough.
Jesus wants to be the center of everything we build our life around. He wants to be the center of where everything flows. And just like you and I, He wants to be chosen. By you.
A relationship with Jesus looks a lot like marriage. It means choosing Him even when things aren’t going your way or when He isn’t doing what you want Him to do.
A few weeks ago at church I was leading our pre-service prayer, and I had a vision of an altar in the center of our circle. As soon as I saw it, the Lord told me to place “my timing” on the altar. And it was not easy. I have a time table in my head which I think is the best; however, He routinely tells me to lay it down. Put my need to control the timing of things on the altar and let Him set it ablaze for something better. Him and His timing.
Friends, Jesus is worth every sacrifice we will ever make. Choose Him. Choose Him over everything else, and never look back. Tell Him you will choose Him no matter what comes. Tell Him you will choose Him even when you don’t understand the road in front of you. He is all you need. He is enough. He is good. He is for you. He loves you. He is worth losing it all.
Jesus, you are the single greatest relationship of my life. I would give it all up if you asked me to. I’ll always choose you.