When I was a child I spent early mornings before school at a babysitter’s home located on the campus of the private Christian school I attended. Often, I would arrive as early as 6 am and so for two hours, well before the line-up bell would ring, I’d be faced with entertaining myself while my sitters took care of their morning duties.
They had an old porch swing on the back porch and a yellow lab chained to a dog house. Early on, I struggled to make friends at school. This dog would become a very dear and close personal friend, whose eyes would always turn sympathetic when we discussed the news from the day. I spent most of my mornings and afternoons sitting on that porch swing with my friend lying beneath.
Many mornings, as the sun began to rise over the hills beyond, I would speak to God. They were not long winded prayers, just little whispers from my heart. I remember specifically, after hearing a pastor share that the return of Messiah would be soon, staring into the heavens, wondering if this would be the morning He returned. My shoes barely scraping the cement below, I pushed off swinging as high as I could. I whispered as I looked into the horizon, “are you coming back… now? Now? … NOW?” I’d wait between each now, and watch to see if He would return.
My heart has always searched for Him, but it wasn’t until I truly connected with the Jewish roots of my faith, years later, that Jesus/Yeshua became tangible to me. However, growing up, just like many others, I experienced the complications that come from theological doctrines that have missed the mark in one way or another. I grew up so confused about who God is, the Messianic Bible study group my parents joined was decidedly different from the Evangelical Church we attended. What muddled things further was the school I attended disagreed with both of these camps on an even greater level. God seemed so easy to speak to on my little porch swing, but as I grew up everything just seemed so complicated. To some He was so approachable, so forgiving. To others, He was quick to punish, and slow to forgive.
It wasn’t until years later that I began to search for God for myself. I wasn’t exactly sure where to start looking, I just knew that He had to be found. I couldn’t spend one more moment without knowing this God. I was determined to find Him, even if my worst fears about Him would come true.
During that time, God had specifically lead me to the book of Job. I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine, a self-proclaimed scholar, who had never read the Bible, but had indeed read the book of Job. His final conclusion afterward being, that Christians were as crazy as he had originally supposed. Still, even as I grappled with the immensity of that book, God instructed me to forgive my friends just as Job had done. Forgive even those who had meant well during my upbringing, but had still hurt me. He went on to explain that He had orchestrated each one of my steps, that what was once a painful time, He had planned for a redemptive future purpose. I chose forgiveness and soon after I was able to reconcile with each group, and serve them in various capacities for a number of years. It was a sovereign act of the Lord’s faithfulness.
Still, there are times where I grapple with approaching the Lord. At times I can make Him so complex and distant. Recently, He reminded me of that little porch swing, and He invited me to join Him in the mornings on my own front porch. And little by little, through the daily washing in the Word, by way of the Holy Spirit, my perceptions have begun to shift. More than ever He is calling me into greater intimacy with Him, just as He is calling His entire Body to join Him. Intimacy isn’t easy for all of us –the vulnerability of knowing that He sees our weaknesses and still loves us, can at times seem hard to believe. Yet, it is true, and seeking for Him is so very simple when we know He desperately wants to be found by us.
Recently, Curt Landry shared a word about strengthening our faith in Christ. He challenged the congregation by saying: “If you don’t strengthen now, when will you start?” I was reminded of the parable of the ten virgins.
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
“‘Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
‘And at midnight a cry was heard: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!” Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise answered, saying, “No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.” And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
‘Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us!” But he answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.”’
‘Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.’” –Mathew 25: 1-13
Many of us are acutely aware that there has been a great shift, as the Body of Christ is transitioning out of the second day season into the Third Day. This is a time where we do not want to be found empty handed, as the return of Messiah is very close at hand. I urge you to take the areas of hurt that have held you back from knowing the Lord and lay them down this year. When you desperately desire to pick those back up again, He will be faithful to deliver you, if you will only reach out to Him. Allow yourself to press into Him, even in the smallest ways, inviting the Holy Spirit into every aspect of your daily life. He will not disappoint. Press into the Word of God and ask the Lord to fill your lamp with oil, and your heart with greater love for our returning Bridegroom, Yeshua HaMishiach. As for me, I pray you’ll find me sharing the love of the Lord with others, all the while looking up saying: “Now Lord? Are you returning now?”
Meet Marisa Fritzemeier
Marisa Fritzemeier has attended House of David since 2010. Over the years she has been honored to serve the house in various capacities. It has been her greatest privilege to join them on multiple trips to Israel and neighboring nations. Marisa spends much of her time working with children. She has a BFA in Theatre from Emporia State, and has spent much of her life dedicated to exploring various artistic mediums. She is passionate about developing art programing with Kingdom purposes. In her spare time, Marisa also works for a digital marketing team building websites and developing advertising for small businesses across the globe. It is her highest honor to know Yeshua as her personal savior, and it is with great joy that she serves Him daily.