A daily dose of God’s touch in a minute…
Sophia Lorena Benjamin
Like fresh water, like a sunset, like the colors of a rainbow. Pure, effortless and blissful is the beauty of First Love; more forceful than imagined.
First love’s magical touch lights up the eyes, brings glow to the face, motivates a skip in the steps and readily draws a song on the lips.
Unexpected challenges, harsh conflicts, painful insecurity, financial concerns, attention to personal looks and wellbeing, things that usually play a dominant role, suddenly begin to fade into the distance with nothing but the picture of First Love strongly engraved on the heart, dominating the mind and playing out in every moment of each day.
In remembering first love, my thoughts are led to the moments when I had begun to respond and feel differently; a time when the usual reactions when angered seemed to subside. Occasions when letting go of nagging issues and people, seemed easy and moving on and letting things be seemed to come easily.
But it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when everything around seemed so cold. Daily living and life challenges had begun to overwhelm. People around had begun to annoy. The finances had dwindled. That’s when I surrendered before the Lord. It was a time where I had made up my mind that God alone was going to be my help.
The first efforts in surrender began with fasting and praying for the young people. Talented, eager, hungry young people. Challenged with changing times. Confronted with difficult choices. Unsure. Vulnerable. My heart longed to see them helped and touched by God. And I prayed. Interceded. It was then I realized I was praying for someone else after a long time. It felt different than the painful, struggled prayers for I, me and myself.
Then the answer came. On the third day of intercessory prayer with fasting and worship. A message almost loud and clear saying “Let go. Forgive. Stop trying to figure things out by yourself. Just look to the cross and receive the grace that has already provided all your needs”.
Three days of willful surrendering before God. Something had definitely transpired in the heavens. Something I wasn’t fully able to understand until the subsequent Sunday morning Church service.
The message from the visiting Pastor from Nigeria was to return to your first Love. It was almost like God saying “Return to your first Love Sophie and see what I can do”.
The following morning, I found myself sitting in prayer, able to be still, quiet, resting. Not imploring, pleading, urging God in desperate prayer for needs to be met, like before. Although like before, the tears freely flowed, only this time, they were not tears of sadness. They were tears that brought release.
The words seemed to swell from deep inside my heart; gentle, inaudible whispers that said: the battle is not mine, it belongs to the Lord. It was in that moment I realized, no matter how hard I try; I cannot make it without His grace.
And that’s when it happened. The lightness came. Grudges began to look forgivable. People became tolerable. The finances got into control. Long lost goals were revived and forgotten dreams began to seem attainable. Phew! I was back to my first love. Praying from a faith filled heart. Fellowshipping freely with my Lord and interceding boldly through the Holy Spirit; the soothing presence of a Savior made me feel stronger and secure.
And you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Revelation 2: 3-4 (NKJV)