I first met Jesus because I love chocolate. Yup. I was playing contentedly on a friend’s jungle gym one day when a couple of neighborhood kids suddenly accosted me, saying, “Kelli! You gotta come to this lady’s house ’cause she’ll give you an M & M! And then she’ll give us an M & M ’cause we brought you!” I had no idea who this lady was, nor why she was luring kids to her house with candy, but I didn’t think twice. The three of us ran to her house, visions of that one, prized M & M dancing in our heads.
I was only about 4 or 5 years old, and my memories of that era in my life are very few. However, I recall with incredible clarity sitting on a metal folding chair, my upturned palm ready for “the drop”, the very kind lady introducing herself and asking my name, and the magical moment the M & M fell into my hand. The two kids who brought me argued about who should get the extra M & M for bringing me to the meeting as I gobbled mine up.
The next thing I knew, this lady had pulled out a felt board and was telling us all about Jesus and the gospel using the wonder of colorful felt pieces to bring the story to life. I had never heard of Jesus before this, and I immediately responded to the message of His love.
From that day forward, I endeavored to follow Jesus, although growing up in a non-Christian and somewhat adversarial home was often challenging. But God was faithful to keep bringing people into my life through the years to remind me of the commitment I had made to Him as a little girl in search of an M & M. My best friend growing up went to church, and I tagged along when I could. In high school and junior high I attended Young Life and youth groups with friends. I often felt very alone and misunderstood in my own home, but God made sure I always had someone in my life to encourage me in my faith. I learned to see God as a true Father, not just a person I believed in, and much more than someone who died for my sins.
My ability to view God as a true Father came in quite handy the day my parents were suddenly killed in a plane crash. At the time I was attending the UW (Go Dawgs!), barely an adult, certainly not prepared for such a devastating and unexpected loss. But God was so near to me as I walked through that trial; I swear there were times I could literally feel His strong arms holding me. And He has never let me go, not even once, even when I’ve pulled away from Him. Nothing on this earth is guaranteed, but God is not of this earth, and we can alwaysdepend on Him.
What or whom do you depend on? Whatever or whomever it is, God is reaching out to you today to depend on Him. Look for Him. You won’t regret finding Him!
Happy December 9th!
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