Short holidays are always such a blessing, and this weekend was no exception. I went to the beach with some of my closest friends, and it was so precious. One of those friends, sweet Sidney, got baptized.
Submitting yourself to God is such a precious surrender, one far easier than any of us seems to believe. I was always so reluctant to give myself away, but once I began getting to know Jesus personally, I realized I was deeply in love with him. Also quickie side note - talking to Jesus and hearing him is so real! I never used to think it was, but it definitely is. Ask and he will answer, talk and he will respond - the key is listening and then not doubting yourself when you think you hear something. But anyway.
One of my favorite songs by Jenn Johnson, called 'In Over My Head,' illustrates the idea of surrender so beautifully. She says, "whether I sing and whether I swim, it makes no difference when I'm in over my head." So often I find myself struggling to stay above the waves, but a glorious beauty exists underneath. But I digress... back to baptism!
My lovely friend Sidney (pictured on the bottom photo at the far right) has been faithfully following Jesus for awhile now. Her decision to get baptized wasn't a way to get closer to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, it was just a public declaration that she's been made new. God loves public declarations of our love for him, which makes sense! Who wouldn't love that? And, on the flip side, if you love someone more than anything, wouldn't you love publicly declaring that?
Something fun about following Jesus is that it isn't legalistic or organized, it's just a relationship with our Creator. Imagine your greatest love on Earth - Jesus wants a relationship like that, and more. He doesn't want us following a bunch of outdated rules and regulations (ones that were in place before Jesus died for us), he just wants us pursuing him.
Baptism is a gorgeous reflection of that, like a marriage ceremony. When we decide to get married we could just head down to the courthouse, nab a slip of paper and be done with it, but who does that? They want to publicly display the overflowing love they have for the other person. Baptism is no different, except the one you're entering into union with is the Lord of the Universe (which is a statement I'm making rather simply but contemplate that for a moment... the God who created you, me, the Universe, science, everything! We have been built to enter into deep relationship with him. How mind-blowing).
My prayer for you today is that Jesus would become real to you in a deeper, newer way. There's always more of him to know and understand. And I'm telling you, each time you learn more, you fall deeper in love. It's not easy to let go of our burdens, but falling in love with Jesus is the easiest thing I've ever done. He's sweet, kind, wise, beautiful, and funny - yes, funny! Where do you think we got our senses of humor from 😉 Anyways, this post touched on a lot of things that I could talk about for much longer, and someday I will, but for now I'll leave with just these.