The first time I learned The Truth About Me was the fall of 1993 and I was a single mom and a student at Colorado State University. I had made friends with Allison, who other than her annoying habit of bringing every conversation back Jesus, was on all accounts “normal”. Our personalities seemed to click and we often sat for hours chatting while our children played together. Over the course of time, however a significant contrast between us became apparent. She had something I did not and I could see the difference lived out in her life and family…and on her face. Allison radiated Christ. Something happens when an unbeliever (me) spends time with someone who has the living God dwelling inside them (Allison). Either you are drawn the presence of the Holy Spirit in that person or the Presence is so uncomfortable for you that you find ways to avoid them or even end the relationship. I was drawn into His Presence.
Unbeknownst to me, God had been preparing my heart and He began to reveal Himself through my conversations with Allison. I had begun an inward journey and was searching for answers to the Big Questions. I was able to understand a lot about God but I had a hard time understanding on a deeper level I was separated from God. I knew I wasn’t perfect, a quick survey of my present circumstances revealed that quite well, but understanding my “goodness” wasn’t even close to being good enough for God…was disturbing.
My search led me to scripture and I was met by a holy God. Since I did not grow up “in the Church” reading the “great stories” of the Bible were fresh and new for me. Yet, I wanted to know why Knowing God made Alison so different from me knowing about God.
God met me in my little apartment in the evening hours as I read His Word. I remember the very moment when I realized I would one day give an account of myself to God…it was if time stopped. Every moment, every decision, every s.i.n. would be laid before me and I would be held accountable. I’m no mathematician, but on a deeper level I finally understood [my sin] > [all the good stuff I will ever do]. I was broken. I was afraid. I cried. I could feel my heart aching because I could see there was no way I was going to be able to fix the situation I was in.
It was Romans 14:11, 12 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.'” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God
that brought me to my knees. I was absolutely powerless to remedy my situation. There existed a chasm between a holy God and me I was powerless to cross. There existed no action I could do to change this Truth and there was not one person on the planet that could help me. And in that moment I sensed I was alone with God.
I continued to read, flipping pages from Old Testament to New Testament…hoping to find something in the pages of scripture that would soothe the very real ache I held in my body. I quickly scanned Psalms and Proverbs. Nothing. I looked in Revelation…it was if it was written in Spanish. I read a little in Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah. It was fear that gripped me…the chasm could not be navigated by my good deeds, self-improvement techniques or promises to straighten up. I feared I was too late…and I feared God was too holy and I was too sinful.
With breathless hope I turned to the first chapter of Matthew and began to skim the pages. And then I read “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I read it again. And again. And once again. I knew a moment of decision had come and I agreed with God about The Truth About Me. It was settled the chasm was closed and I ran to Him for the rest He promised. The ache was no longer there, it had been replaced by a sense of peace I had never before known. I was experiencing the unmerited grace of forgiveness from a holy God. I rested there, on the floor of my apartment for hours, in complete silence and awe.