Two or so years ago you may have seen me in church on Sundays, wearing my “church smile,” but the truth was I had been living without regard for the Lord for a long time by that point, so I was anything but joyful. I had been living day after day without seeking the Lord with any part of my heart. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13. But days became months without talking with my Savior, and months turned into a year. I was selfish and miserable, but He was still my Father, and I was still His daughter… I was just lost.
One day as I was on my knees before the Lord begging Him to change my life, it finally occurred to me that I had been living a life that was completely fruitless. I had put so much of my attention and effort into taking care of weeds that there was nothing left in me to give to the Vine! But without the Vine, there is no fruit. I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. -John 15:5.
I prayed that the Lord would change me and turn my focus back to Him. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. -John 15:2. By the sounds of that, no matter what, and without much excitement I knew I was going to be enduring some pain. I also knew it was going to be for my good and for His glory.
As promised, The Lord ripped chains out of my life that were seemingly unbreakable; Chains that were like the locusts in Exodus 10 that devoured every plant in the fields and every fruit on the tree. I cried out and confessed my sin and pleaded with the Lord to take this death from me. The Lord responded by shifting the wind, and a strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. He set me free, just like He did with the land of Egypt. Just like He will with anyone who comes to Him with all their heart, no matter how dark the situation may be.
Now, a couple years later, I am so very thankful for the misery I felt back then. Even in the moment, I saw God’s hand in it, because the pain of living without Jesus in my daily life was what brought me back to my knees before the Lord. I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of ages. –Charles Spurgeon. Every slight ripple or raging wave is His grace, if it guides a lost sinner back to Him.