Have you read Pursued by Judd Wilhite?

I recently read Pursued by Judd Wilhite, and it spoke volumes to me. This reading was part of preparation work for a weekend retreat I would attend. When I got the email containing 21 days of prep work, I was not excited. I am one of those rare persons who assigns myself homework, but I didn’t want to take on the extra tasks then. My schedule is packed these days with my school’s activities, my own kids’ activities, and just getting dinner on the table is challenging! Still, I’m not one to blow off study, so I read the book and did the prep work. I’m really glad I did.

Illuminate Ministries generates eight women’s Pursued retreats and the equivalent men’s retreats annually. When my older sister asked me to attend this one, I really didn’t want to. It’s a busy time in my life, and our little home business has some upcoming orders, and I’ve already been to Walk to Emmaus, and, and . . . I’m guilty of being a renowned excuse-maker when it comes to things I don’t want to do. I could tell it meant a lot to my sister who was serving. After praying about it, I heard God speak to me: “Is there anything wrong with getting away to learn and spend time with me?” And my answer was a definite no.

I signed up. While I didn’t exactly have time to delve into a study of 1 Peter and the Pursued book, I fit it in. If God spoke the aforementioned words to me, I knew He wanted me to go prepared. This book was amazing. It speaks of God’s continued pursuit of His children through a look at the story of Hosea and Gomer. It’s this beautiful picture of redemptive love the Father has for us. Through stories of how this redemptive love was shown to people he knows mostly through Central Church in Las, Vegas, Nevada, Wilhite paints what it’s like to truly acknowledge and live in a love of that magnitude.

I thought I had answers because I was doing several YouVersion plans, reading the Word daily, sharing it with our littles, and writing in my prayer journal. What I didn’t realize was I’ve been reducing my experience with God to something I could check off my to do list. On my Pursued retreat, I didn’t have my cell phone, so I couldn’t check those things off. At first I thought about how my Bible app isn’t going to say I’ve connected with my Bible 117 days in a row. It would start over, and I didn’t want it to. As I thought about this, the Holy Spirit said, “I have so much more for you than something you can check off your list! Be with me here.” And suddenly I understood.

Our God pursues me and offers His reckless, crazy love. I can’t earn it.

And it’s more than a checkmark on my list.

It’s exactly what I need.

All the time.