A pivotal moment in my wilderness experience began with a cup of tea with a friend, a stained-glass artist who wishes to remain anonymous. Little did I know that God was reeling me in.
As much as she loves her art, stained glass is not the passion of this woman’s life. Jesus is. Her primary ministry is intercessory prayer. She informed me years ago that she prayed regularly for me.
In the winter of 2000, she ushered me out of the bitter cold and into her quaint cottage. After a few steaming sips she paused, placed her hands reverently on her Bible and told me something that would eventually change the course of my life.
“I prostrated myself before the Lord this morning,” she began. This was her custom; she never entered her glass studio unless she first humbled herself before God and stayed there until He released her. “And He gave me Psalm 51,” she continued. “But He told me this scripture was not for me (pause, sip, gaze intently) but it was for you, Connie.” She watched to see if I had fully comprehended the enormity of this spiritual transaction.
I nodded and smiled, acting duly impressed even though I was skeptical that anything she had to say could impact my stone-cold heart. After all, I was a wanderer. I wasn’t so sure there was a God any more. She opened her loved-to-death Bible and began to read. She took me through all of Psalm 51, stopping here and there to exhort me with certain words or thoughts. The first passage she parked on hit me right where it hurt: Surely you desire truth in the inner parts (Psalm 51:6a). Boy did I! I hated my hypocrisy but could not seem to change.
Create in me a pure heart (10a), was the next place that grabbed me. Oh how I longed to be pure. Everything had been so simple in my early days of faith, so black and white. But a lot of water had passed under the bridge; my heart and mind were so twisted that I despaired of ever finding peace. Then she asked me to listen carefully because what she was about to say was her message to me from God. She read: Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me (v12). “Isn’t this what you want Connie?” she asked with heartbreaking earnestness. It was exactly what I wanted but was convinced would never again be mine.
She continued: Then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will turn back to you (v13). She stopped, locked onto me with her steely gaze and said, “This is what you are called to do, Connie dear.” She was dead serious. If she hadn’t been I may have burst out laughing. Teach transgressors? I was a transgressor!…
I felt terribly empty and guilty and hopeless (because I had lost touch with God years ago).
After more tea and a lengthy time of prayer, I bundled up and was sent on my way with a warm hug. As I trudged homeward, a faint glimmer of hope, an ember of possibility glowed somewhere deep in my soul. Without knowing I was praying, I mouthed a prayer — it was more like a challenge — to God. “Okay God. If what she says is true and You are calling me to speak up for You, I will do it. But I won’t go looking. If someone calls and asks, then I will say yes.” Unknown to me, I had played right into the hand of a pursuing God! (Excerpt From Faking it to Finding Grace)
If you have lost touch with God, like I did, would you consider praying that same prayer? Basically you are saying: I want to follow You God, but I don’t know where to find You. I give you permission to come after me.
The fact is, He is already pursuing you but you are blind to it because your spirit is closed. Once you open your heart/mind/soul to the possibility of His involvement in your life, you may actually catch a glimpse of His activity.