I could not let pass this thought in my head. I am studying for the talks I will be giving and my spirit is reminded of His great love.
Not that I ever really forget His love for me, but I definitely forget to think upon it. To ponder it. To let it saturate my soul. That is where I find myself tonight.
I have not had much time to prepare this post so I hope that it comes straight from my inner heart - my life line to the Savior. The bible lesson that corresponds to my second day at camp is the woman who poured out her love on Jesus from an alabaster jar. The point I am driving home for the youngsters at camp is
that they too can love Jesus. But not just any love - but an outrageous love, like the sinner at Jesus' feet. As I continue in my studies my own heart keeps tugging at me. 'Do you remember, Jodi?' 'Have you forgotten?' "Where are you pouring your offering?'
See, once upon a time I was that woman. I was eighteen when I accepted the Lord fully and completely into my life. I was in University; only months after surrendering my baby for adoption. I spent my senior year of high school pregnant and ashamed. I left my hometown and moved away to a large city University hoping to hide in the crowds. Hoping to become an invisible number. Only the opposite happened. I was found.
Jesus revealed Himself to me in a very real and tangible way. In such a way that I could never doubt His sincerity. As I stood in the shower one morning preparing for my classes I was drenched in my own tears. I cried aloud that I was detestable and shamed by what I had done. What kind of mother could ever give up her son? What kind of person does that?
It was there under the torrent of tears and water that a voice as clear as sunshine filled my mind. He said, "I know how you feel because I gave up my Son too."
For an incredible moment the fear, the shame and the sorrow left me. If it were a movie there would be a bright, glowing light streaming in and a symphony playing - but it was just a regular shower. I did not know who the voice belonged to, all I knew was it felt right. It felt good. It was that day that I decided to find out who that was that knew how I felt.
God was so good, too. He didn't leave me searching for long. Like a puzzle-master, He orchestrated people and situations into my life over the next few weeks to bring me straight into His waiting arms. Soon I knew it was God's voice in my head. I began the discovery process to find out about His Son, Jesus Christ.
The reason I share this testimony with you is to illustrate a point. I poured my life into Him without a thought. I surrendered to Him. I worshiped Him with all my heart, soul and mind. For my "sins, which were many, have been forgiven, for I loved much; but she who is forgiven little, loves little."
As I prepare my lesson tonight, I realize I have forgotten my first love - the outrageous and extravagant love of a sinner who has been forgiven much. Do you ever find yourself there?
Tonight I have a fresh new vision of what I want to happen in my life now. It suddenly has nothing to do with writing stories, raising children or even cooking a fabulous lasagna. It has everything to do with pouring out a heart full of love for my Saviour. My goal is to find that passion that once burned bright within me and show it to a camp full of elementary kids covered in sunscreen and bug spray.
Thank you Lord for forgiving me so much. Your love is so extravagant. You take my burden and my sin upon your own shoulders. You poured out the most expensive fragrance as you died on the cross for me. Help me never to forget or lose sight of the love I have for you. May I pour it out as a sacrifice to You. Lord, tonight I break open my life, my alabaster jar, and I offer it to you as a small token of the love you deserve.
Here is an old song with a timeless message. It was a song that spoke volumes to me in those first few years as a new believer.
I am off to camp now, so you won't hear from me for a week. I will pray for you to have an awesome week, spilling your love for Jesus everywhere you go.
Pray for me too!