Journal Entry – February 1, 1999

I have said a million times that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship and now more than ever I am learning firsthand that that is the truth. As I continue to struggle through the loss of my Dad, I am seeing this truth completely fleshed out. My personal relationship with Jesus above all else is carrying me through this difficult time. I am finding strength not so much through my quiet time or any other activity but simply by leaning on Jesus. I am not belittlling bible study, it helps, but when I sit back and let Jesus minister to me and over and over remind that He is still in control, it is then that I feel the most secure and find strength to go on. So many times before, when I was struggling with something, I would go to Jesus but I would wind up doing all the talking. But this time I just do not know what to say and I am learning to shut up and “be still and know that He is God.” (Ps. 46:10) And as am still and quiet before Him I am experiencing the hope and peace that Christ can bring to us in the toughest parts of life. I guess I am experiencing what it really is to have a relationship with Jesus. So many times before I have focused on the ritual of quiet time, prayer, or church or whatever to “maintain” my relationship with Jesus but what I was overlooking was what Christianity is really all about. — A personal relationship with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, a quiet time is important but don’t look at it as something you HAVE to do. If we do, then it becomes a ritual and we miss out on the relationship. A quiet time is simply an activity that God has given us to draw us closer to Him. Period! So no matter what is going on, whether you are dying inside or having the best day of your life, let Jesus be a part of it. Spend time with Him not because you are supposed to but simply because you love Him, need Him and want to be with Him. And then you will find, as I am finding, that Christianity is not a religion but truly is a relationship with a God who loves us and cares for us beyond what we could ever imagine!!

God Bless ya,