The One Thing

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I was twenty years old when I spent my first summer in Asia. Afternoons in sub-tropical heat forced me indoors, so I retreated to the third floor to spend solitary time before the Word of God and a single rotary fan.

All summer, a long-distance relationship remained at the forefront of my mind. He was tall, tan, and good-looking, with a sense of humor that often caught me off-guard. Despite our happenstance meeting on an airplane, we’d seen each other several times before parting for the summer.

He, too, was spending ten weeks overseas with an assignment similar to mine. His Malaysian aerograms included joy and depth, stories and Scripture, affection and interest. The prayers he prayed and the prayers he wrote increased my growing interest in this extraordinary young man.

Childhood memories flooded my mind as I listened to the oscillatory hum that afternoon. Since my thirteenth birthday, I’d been praying for a future mate. My teenage requests included a man who could wash dishes (since my dad did not), but my requirements had expanded over the years. I’d added prayer, Scripture, and leadership elements, with this guy perfectly fitting the bill.

Unexpectedly, I heard God’s Voice, so clear He was almost audible. “I want that relationship,” He beckoned. Startled, I diverted my eyes to the open Bible on my lap. God stressed again in print.

“Take now… (the one) whom you love…and offer him there as an….offering” (Genesis 22:2).

I balked at such a request. “I’ve prayed for such a mate. Couldn’t this relationship be the one? Surely he pleases You.”

“Give Me this relationship,” came God’s reply.

I don’t know how long I hesitated. Nor how long I argued. Maybe if I offered this relationship to God, He would stay my hand at the last minute — as He had in Abraham’s case. But this, He did not do. He led me up this mountain, revealing that He desired me to lay down the relationship. Finally and completely.

My prayer reached the appointed plateau in an anguish of soul I hadn’t experienced to date. As an act of my will, I placed this relationship before the Lord and felt it severed from my soul. Sobbing and exhausted with internal distress, I lay this relationship before the Lord.

Then, in a radiance that still causes my heart to pulse, I saw the Lord. With the brilliance of Light and glow of Presence, He enveloped me in His rest. Splendor so filled me that any lack of the previous moment vanished amidst His fulness. Like a warm Jacuzzi on a frigid day, Light swirled around me. Resplendent, nourishing, invigorating, strengthening, His Light engulfed every dark place, gleaming without glaring — diamond-brilliant without blinding.

His Grandiose Presence was far better than my minuscular understanding. None else could compare. I gazed with wide-open eyes at His Remarkable Countenance, personally transforming as I glimpsed His Glory. He was crystal, transparent, flawless, brilliant, and incorruptible. Yes, indescribable. I bowed, awe-struck and speechless, and to this day remain unable to describe the vision entirely.

Father, what is my well-loved Isaac today? What do I need to lay at Your Feet? Am I living in the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord? Guide my viewpoint to see You daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.