BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, GRACE ATTENDER & BLOGGER
“If you only knew.” Dave paused and mulled on this phrase in last weekend’s sermon just long enough for a truth to jump right out at me. In the story of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus says to her, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” But to me in that moment, Jesus said, “If you only knew I had been right beside you all along to deliver your living water... But it’s all good now because you finally recognized me.” (I just love his robust sense of humor.)
Intuition. Coincidence. Things happening “for a reason.” Small world. An “aha!” moment. For most of my life, these were common descriptions I used to paint the spiritual force I didn’t fully recognize but fully believed was with me at all times. It took the most desperate brokenness and suffering of my life for me to finally recognize this spiritual force as the Holy Spirit. And thank God that the brokenness and suffering finally helped me recognize Jesus, because I shudder to think of how lost I may have become otherwise.
I’ve written about my full experience here, but in a nutshell, I finally recognized the Holy Spirit the night I looked up at the stars in the night sky and asked God why my dad had just taken his own life. Once I finally did recognize the Holy Spirit, I started to see it everywhere—even in my past. When we’re talking eternal life, I believe it not only looks forward, but also looks back. Eternal life is all-inclusive.
From that moment on, I could pinpoint times in my life when God had been right there with me, providing support and guidance even when I didn’t realize it. One prime example is how I met my husband. I had a silly fixation on meeting a Carmel boy as a young southside teenage girl—and I finally met him living in Nashville, Tennessee as a twenty-something. (Not to mention that I shared mutual friends with my future brother-in-law when we both attended IU during college!) Could it be that God was trying to get my attention by answering a prayer that I didn’t even realize I was praying as an adolescent? Sure. I think he’d try just about anything when he’s pursuing a lost child.
Sometimes I wonder what my life may have looked like had I recognized Jesus sooner. But then I remember that even if I didn’t know it at the time, He was always walking beside me.
Sometimes I wonder what my life may have looked like had I recognized Jesus sooner. But then I remember that even if I didn’t know it at the time, He was always walking beside me. He was working in my life in so many ways to lead me to the good works he had prepared in advance just for me. He blessed my life in countless ways, and He’ll be there for eternity. Forever, always, and ever before.