Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?Psalm 139:7
I still hold my breath and choke back tears when I hear “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury. The line that gets me everytime is,
“There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me”Cory Asbury, Reckless Love
It made me cry to even write those words. Why? Because when I look back it overwhelms me to think about the many ways Jesus pursued me. The heartbreaking part was I didn’t know He was pursuing me because I was trying too hard to run away from Him.
I never wanted Him to see me doing all of the awful things I did just to cope. There were so many bad decisions and many of them are a blur.
But He never stopped coming. No matter how hard I ran.
I couldn’t be bad enough for Him to give up on me. I was a mess and I was completely filled with shame, but I was never too far gone for Him to quit.
After that desperate prayer naked on hardwood floors, I turned to Him. I made my way into church. I was broken in a million ways and hung over when I pulled into the parking lot smoking a cigarette.
I sat on the back row looking at how put together everyone else seemed. I didn’t feel like I fit in, and quite honestly I didn’t want to fit in. I’d never heard sermons like this so I kept coming back. The words were connecting and the Bible was starting to make sense to me. My eyes and ears were opened, but my heart was Nailed. Shut.
Each week I made it about 30 seconds into the invitation, and decided to bolt to avoid the pull. Every Sunday, I rushed out and it was my personal goal to be the first person to leave.
She literally followed me out each Sunday yelling “Melissa!” so I ignored her because that was not my name.
One Sunday, she finally caught me and I let her know my name was Michelle. When she started to invite me to the beach for the young adults retreat, I immediately shut her down and said, “I didn’t come here to make friends.” I turned to leave and left her standing there, smiling.
Betty never gave up on me.
Sunday after Sunday, she called my name. Eventually I said yes and made it to the Bible study.
Today, she calls me “the daughter she never had.”
I could give you other examples of how Jesus pursued me, but this is the picture that sticks with me the most because she never once quit trying. She never gave up.
Jesus never gives up.
We can run the other way, and He is there. We can run to Him with sealed up walled off hearts, and He waits. We can be pushed into the darkest places or willingly walk into them and yet His light will still find us.
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.Psalm 139:8
He is gentle, patient and kind. He never leaves us. He never gives up. He is always there.
He will send us a Betty, if that is what it takes and if we let Him, He will send us a Michelle.
He is faithful to pursue us. Will we be faithful to pursue others?
Read Psalm 139 and think of the ways He has pursued you. Write about it in your journal and thank Him.
Has a Betty pursued you? Reach out to her and let her know. Thank her for her love.
Do you know a Michelle? Pray about how you can reach out to her.
Thank you Jesus that we are loved, intimately known, and pursued.