© Bill McCown | www.myghcf.com
Did you ever hear people say, “Just come to Jesus and everything will be fine”? After 36 years of passionately seeking Him and still learning His ways today, I know that is absolutely true; but I gotta tell you, it’s not the best comment to share at the front of the journey. Before I knew the Lord and had committed my life to Him, I had what I thought was an orderly plan. I came and went as I pleased. I had the order and deep satisfaction of a life as a military nurse, I was rising quickly in rank, had a secure future and retirement plan and, as a Flight Nurse, was flying all over the world. I was in control of all aspects of my life…lost and heading straight to hell…but I was the boss. Great! Unknowingly flying my own life right into the abyss!
Thank You Jesus that He saw this lost little soul…skilled and gifted yes, but as lost to Him as the lamb who went astray. But God rescued me and when He did, boy, did I have a dickens of a time giving over the “boss” keys to Him! So it seemed a bit contradictory to me that “Jesus is the answer” when my life fell apart after I met Him! Instead of the faith-defying veil of self-built certainty and order that I had previously wrapped myself in, I was then faced with the mystery and contradictions of Scripture along with the vast sea of unknowns that a frail human experiences when faced with the awesomeness of an unseen God. I don’t know about you, but coming to Jesus in the salvation experience threw me for a loop. I struggled with giving up my “power” to control all the things and areas in my life. It was very foreign territory on which to tread in prayerfully giving over all my life decisions to God. My first response to God leading me in directions I had not chosen was painful disbelief, “You gotta be kidding me, Lord!” But slowly and surely He led me away from the military and away from nursing. Not because those things were bad or wrong; He allowed all of those opportunities to help form and shape me, but only to prepare me for what He intended all along…full-time ministry for Him. If anyone had told me that 40 years ago, I’d have laughed and bought another round for the bar!
No, over time, I have found that your life in Christ will often be turned upside down, not made smoother; you will suffer lack not gain; you will have more unanswered questions than answered; and you will have to let go and not cling to all that you once held dear. At first, it felt like God was just going to strip me down to nothing and let me curl up and die, but that was never His intent. The pangs that I felt were just His “holy demolition” going on inside of me. What He has built up, after tearing my junk down, is more stable, effective and prosperous than anything I was trying to construct. Faith in Jesus Christ and a life lived in Him is certainly a “hard-hat” area, but what a wonderful result He has in mind for you. So turn in your blueprints and plans for His blueprints and plans; get on that “hard hat” and watch out for falling debris! But do it all with a secure and faithful heart, knowing that even though “dying to self” may hurt, the end result is life, and that more abundantly! (Proverbs 8:35) Endure the fire, it’s producing pure gold!