In my post Accepting the Unacceptable, I wrote about the day I broke up with God. It was June 15th, 1998. That was the day my best friend died at the ripe age of fifteen.
Several years after that day I made an attempt to reframe the situation. I incorporated an “attitude of gratitude” and I started giving thanks surrounding the situation.
Every night I included in my prayers, “Thank you for the time I got to spend with those who have passed before me, especially Mike Sarandrea.“
Even though I couldn’t comprehend how God could take the life of an innocent fifteen year old boy, I was still grateful for the impact Mike had made in my life.
I’ve said that exact prayer every night for the last fifteen years or so. This past week, as it came time for this portion of my prayer routine, my heart filled with contentment as my eyes started to swell, and I added another name to my prayer.
“Thank you for the time I got to spend with those who have passed before me, especially Mike Sarandrea and my Grandpa.”
In this moment, I realized how far I had come in my “Jesus Journey.”
When Mike died, I cursed God.
When Grandpa died, I praised God.
What was the difference? It wasn’t that Mike was fifteen and Grandpa was ninety-eight.
It was understanding.
When I started out in my quest to build a personal relationship with Jesus, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was searching for. I thought I had to read the Bible every day and memorize scripture in order to know God. While I learned that the Book has a lot to say, there is one thing it doesn’t say.
It doesn’t say you have to know every verse and story. It just says you have to know Him.
“This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
There’s a website I like called gotquestions.org. I find they have helpful information related to scripture. This is how the site described what it was like to have a relationship with Jesus.
“It is one thing to know about a sports hero, and quite another thing to be a friend of that athlete. You can read every news article on your hero, memorize every stat, and collect every piece of memorabilia yet never really know the athlete himself. To truly know a sports hero, you would have to do more than watch him play. You would have to have a relationship with him, based on time spent together and regular conversation. When a person truly knows Jesus, it is on the basis of a relationship; they spend time together and talk regularly. And, when we know Jesus, we also know God.”
I spent years living with resentment towards God because I thought He took the time and conversations with Mike away from me. But I learned through spending time and conversation with Him, that He has never taken anything away from me. He has only given me every good fortune in my life and everything I have is really His.
“This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control. In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete. Take time to bask in the Light of My Love. As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care.”
This was the day Grandpa passed. (God wink, anyone?)
I lovingly released my precious gift to Jesus, and I prayed that Grandpa made the cut, because he was quite feisty 🙂
I pray everyone reading embraces the love, peace and understanding that comes from knowing Him and what He brings to our lives.
I pray you can rest in His peace every day of your life.
May God bless and protect our country and everyone reading.