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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

I Love Jesus, and He is Running After Me

In my early twenties, I was lost in the wilderness. "Wild" is the keyword here. After my grandma passed away when I was 20, things were not going my way, so I turned away from God. Some of my family and friends may read this and be going, "Oh yeah. What an awful time that was!" I admit, I was drinking alcohol and doing a lot of the sinful stuff alcohol leads to. What I didn't know during that time was that Jesus was running after me.


One, two, skip a few years...I was leaving a coffee shop--heavy in my 8th month of pregnancy with my daughter, unmarried, broke, feeling the burden of a mountain of sin and shame weigh me down--when a woman from my old church came up to me. Ginny said, "Michelle, how are you? God's been talking to me about you. How is your relationship with God? When are you going to come back to church?"


I left that conversation with tears in my eyes. After all I had done, after all of my sinfulness, through all of my shame, God still wanted a relationship with me? I couldn't get my head around it. So, I went to church to see if Ginny was telling the truth. Hope began to swell inside me. Ginny and many others from my congregation pulled me back into the flock.


In Luke 15:4 (NIV), Jesus is telling the story of the lost sheep: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" How amazed I was to learn that my God loved me so much, He sent a good shepherd after me! That was over 25 years ago, and I still marvel at the wonder of God's amazing love, grace, and forgiveness.


In church this morning (which may be another day when readers see this), my friend Laura passed me a note from my friend Sue that I am still being pursued:

Passing notes in church should be a thing. I might be out of the wilderness, but my heart likes the reminders that God is pursuing me...and passing notes reminding people whose they are is yet another way God runs after "the one."


Friends, God is running after you. He will leave the 99 to save you. Nothing you do can stop Jesus from running after you. You are pursued by the the good shepherd, Jehovah Raah. Like Sue said, let these words from scripture sink in:

3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7 (See also Matthew 18:10-14.)

You are a child of God: Chosen. Pursued. Created. Saved. Loved. I encourage anyone reading this message to get caught up by the word of God, get caught up in praise. God is good, and He rejoices when you seek Him. Please enjoy these songs that remind me of how God pursues us.


Best,

Michelle


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