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All my life, Jesus has been picking a fight with me. And not because He wants to hurt me. It’s always taken a struggle between us for me to realize that He’s different than how I’ve perceived Him. In fact, God’s shown a continual willingness to fight for me in order to loosen my grip of the wrong perceptions I held of Him.

He stepped into the ring with me when I was young. My parents were His first offensive strategy. Mom and dad raised me saying that Jesus loved me so much He died, giving me access to a relationship with God. But I couldn’t comprehend a God who desired me even in my sin. I saw Him as angry, not forgiving. As a hurter, not a healer.

God was throwing jabs. In a fight, the purpose of a jab is to pester the recipient, to hit him with small punches before catching him off-guard with the knockout blow. He would continue to throw jabs for 17 years. But I tried my hardest to dodge them, and I even fought back. I heard the truth but stood my ground. But God had been training for this fight since before the foundations of the earth. He’s experienced, knew my weak spots, and hadn’t lost a fight yet. It wouldn’t be long before I couldn’t resist anymore.

As a senior in high school, I agreed to attend a Christian summer camp where I experienced a community that I never knew existed. It was a trap. I walked right into a headlock. Headlocks are hard to escape from. The love and compassion of this community gripped me, and for the first time since we began to brawl, I didn’t want to be released.

I heard the gospel at that camp and was floored. These people explained to me that the Jesus whom I’d seen as my opponent actually looked at me with Fatherly eyes, longing to extend grace to me. It was the haymaker that He’d waited my whole life to deliver. Comprehending the unconditional, unquenchable, undeniable love of Jesus for the first time was the knockout blow from which my life has never recovered. At 17 I stopped resisting, and at 21 he called me to fight full-time alongside Him at WSU.

In being fought for, I’ve recognized that God uses His people to fight for those who don’t yet know Him. That’s why I’m on staff with Resonate Church. My prayer is that the community of our church would be Christ’s loving headlock for thousands of college students. And that somehow, my life would be what Christ uses to throw gospel haymakers.

Myers Briggs: ISFJ

Contact Chris: chris@resonate.net

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