But I have this against you, that you left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first. (Revelation 2:4-5)
I was afraid that it would never be that good again.
You know the feeling. That giddy feeling of happiness. Your heart beating a little faster when you were in his presence. The time of intimacy spent alone… just talking…and just hearing his voice. The comfort of being able to pour your heart out when the world stopped on its axis and started turning the wrong way around.
I was a teenager, maybe fourteen, and I fell in love with God and a boy at the same time. God’s Spirit had arrived with a shockwave for me; the stories I had heard my entire life suddenly cut me to the quick and pulled me shaking out of the pew, down the aisle and into the water.
I discovered glorious worship in Young Life, a Bible translation that I could understand, and the joy of being with other believers. We prayed together, fasted together, sang together and God showed up again and again. It was a sweet, sweet time.
And then there was the boy. He was a bad boy, of course. Just moved into the neighborhood, with blond hair longer than the other boys’, a wide smile and dimples that multiplied, always high on one thing or another.
My first kiss and I was a goner. He decided it would be better if we were just friends. I was heartsick, crazy in love, so this ‘friendship’ only intensified my longing for him. Close, but always out of reach.
So when I think of that first love, God and the boy with the wicked smile are all tangled up together.
In the end, I left them both. College has a way of spreading our wings as we leave the nest, plotting our own independent course. I was ready for bigger and better things. I was confident I could find them on my own.
And I did. I found new friends and a career, a kind husband and a family. But 17 years down the road I discovered that although I had left the boy and God behind, God had never left me. He was always walking quietly one step in front of me; gently clearing my path.
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee…
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
I found myself, at the invitation of a friend, behind another pew in another church, shaking once again in the presence of God’s Spirit, my first love. Dare I return to Him? I could not bear it if God’s love had grown stale and flat and rote.
I have to admit, I argued with God for a year, as I carefully tested the waters, holding tightly to the lies of my world.
He pursued me with the love and passion I remembered from my teens. He was the Father waiting for my return. He was the Comforter turning my world right again. He was the Teacher whispering wisdom. He was the Water who would wash me clean. He, alone, was and still is the Lover of my soul.
My God is passionate and exciting. He is the larger than life Prince Charming, and he actually comes to us on a white stallion, with eyes blazing. (Revelation 19:11-16). He laid down his life to rescue me from danger. What kind of love is this? It is the love of Jesus
If your god is small and boring, he must be a god of your own making. Fighting words, huh? Don’t settle for a small, manageable god. It is not worth it. Return to Almighty God. The God whose love is a passionate whirlwind. He will not turn away. He waits for you with open arms.
Question:Have you left your first love of God? Have you ever really known the power of God’s great love for you? If you long for Him, what is holding you back?
Thomas Obediah Chisholm (1866-1960) Great Is Thy Faithfulness
© 1923. Ren. 1951 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188
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