by Brandy Webb
My daughter just got her learner’s permit. I am still wrapping my brain around the fact that I now have a fifteen year old. I wish there was a pause button on life sometimes, but alas, there isn’t.
In any case, my daughter now can drive with an adult on the passenger side. She is so excited. Given, who wasn’t excited the first time they were able to drive? This is what got me thinking about what spiritual lesson I could learn from this new situation, and no, I am not going to talk about how to overcome the anxiety of sitting in the passenger seat, even though that is another lesson. I started thinking about how, for me, driving is no longer exciting. It is a mundane normal everyday task that I do to get from “point A to point B.” I have been driving for so many years that the excitement is no longer there. It was this that made me ask the question, “Is this what happens sometimes in our Christian walk?”
In Revelation, Christ warns the church in Ephesus that they had lost their first love (Revelation 2:4). Basically, they no longer loved God like they did at first. The way I see it is that the flame of faith had dimmed inside them. If you notice the scriptures prior, you realize that they had toiled through patient suffering (2:2). They did not tolerate wicked people, and they bore many burdens for the sake of Christ (2:2-3). In other words, this church suffered, and maybe it was because of suffering that their excitement and love dimmed.
Isn’t that what happens to us sometimes? When we first find the truth we get so excited that we study all the time. We read the Bible daily. We pray. We repent. We accept the Father and our Messiah and get baptized. Then, over time we start going through the motions. We still go to church and fellowship, but that fire, that initial love, isn’t burning as brightly as it did at the beginning.
I know personally, I let distractions and the busyness of life to cause me to start living life by rote tasks. I may still study and read my Bible, but the heart isn’t fully in it. Plus, when trial after trial hits, I allow anxiety and worry to creep into my heart, which quenches faith, hope, and joy. I then become just as guilty as the church in Ephesus.
So, what is one to do when they find that they have “lost their first love”? “Repent at once, and act as you did at first” (Revelations 2:5). God can forgive us for anything. We already know that humbling ourselves, turning back to God, and repenting will bring upon us healing and refreshing of our inner being (2 Chronicles 7:14; Acts 3:19). It is never too late to return completely to our “first love” and feel a rejuvenation of our faith. It is possible to feel that same excitement even years after our decision to follow God.
Thankfully, we have a Father and Savior in Heaven always waiting for us to totally love and trust them. Christ didn’t do everything He did for us to just give up on us the moment that initial overflowing of faith turns to a drip. We have so many examples in the Bible that prove that He is there and ready to forgive us when we realize that we have become distracted, or started to treat our Christian walk as just a mundane everyday normal task that we do, like driving. The neat thing is, even though it may never be fully exciting to drive like it was when we were fifteen or sixteen, it is possible to be fully excited and more so in our faith when we repent and turn to God again. The Holy Spirit can definitely reignite our hearts and soul so that we can return to our First Love with full force and more, like we did when we decided to accept God and Christ into our lives the first time.