The Book Stop blog is publishing excerpts from the book Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desires With God by Lysa TerKeurst and Shaunti Fledhahn with permission from Zondervan. The following segment comes from chapter 9: Tattooed On My Heart.
Several years ago I (Lysa) sat beside my youngest sister, who was nineteen at the time, and listened as she boldly rejected my views of God. She's always been a free spirit, much too nonconventional for traditional religion.
"Good thing I'm not into religion," I gently replied.
She twisted her face as if half expecting a lightning bolt to strike us both. "But you are religious."
I laid my head against the back of the lounge chair, closed my eyes to the sun now washing over me, and simply replied, "Nope."
Deciding to let my statement just sit for a while, I opted not to clarify unless she asked. And ask she did.
That's when I explained that I follow God, not a religious activity. I want to become more and more like Jesus, not more and more a follower of a religious system of rules. I am passionate about getting into the Bible.--God's teachings--and letting the Bible get into me. I no longer evaluate life based on my feelings. Instead, I let my feelings and experiences be evaluated in light of God's Word.
I have watched God chase me around with rich evidence of His presence and invitations to trade apathy for active faith. But I had to make the choice to see God. Hear God. Know God. And follow hard after God.
That day I took my sister's hand and told her I'd be praying for God to mess with her in ways too bold for her to deny.
And mess with her He did.
Fast forward to five years later. My sister walked into a professor's office and saw one of my books on her bookshelf. I don't think my sister really believed anyone actually read my books, but there it was. And it messed with her.
She later went home and poked around my blog a bit, where she found a clip of my testimony. Again, it messed with her. One verse in particular messed with her so much that she let the possibility of God's existence slip into her heart.
A few days later, out of the blue, she went and had Jeremiah 29:11 tattooed on the back of her neck. That is the wonderful verse that says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" She called, wanting to talk to me. About life. About tattoos. And About God.
Then a few weeks later she called again, and I stood in the middle of a busy airport praying for this precious girl who had called asking for those prayers. She had called. She had called again. She had asked. And that's the miracle of our Jesus: He is the God of the impossible.
I wonder what might happen if we dared to ask God for the impossible just a little more often. I'm up for it. Are you?