From a young age I have been acquainted with God, the Lord Jesus, and the Christian faith. I attended church every week like the rest of my family and learned about salvation and righteousness and other topics of the Bible that typically occupy the attention of church-goers. But in that stage of my life, it seemed that being a believer was something I felt I ought to be, but it did not feel all that real and I was just going through the motions. At times, I wondered if any of it was even real at all.
However, when I was in college, something happened to me. Rather, something happened inside of me. I began being more and more dissatisfied with my present condition. I was a believer who was following a prescription and one which I was not completely convinced of. Questions slowly emerged in my mind and before long they were flooding in. These were not your “run-of-the-mill” questions that might be asked at Sunday school; these were questions that affected the very core of my faith—questions that challenged my sensibilities and unsettled my heart within me.
Midway through my undergraduate studies, I began a quest to understand the faith that I had been keenly familiar with my whole life but yet had seemed so foreign and aloof. The journey was like trying to dig for diamonds in a dark cave where I thought diamonds could be found. But, diamonds are not found near the surface of the ground. They lie deep in the belly of the earth and they are not easily discovered. And so, to dig for diamonds, I set out to learn the best methods for mining them. But I was a newbie; I knew little of theology and studying the Bible. Some methods I had been introduced to growing up were like using picks and shovels to dig—such tools will not permit one to tunnel deep into the bedrock of the land where diamonds reside. Instead, I sought to acquire an understanding of how to drill and how to know where to drill because there are few things more demoralizing than mistakenly burrowing deep into the ground only to keep finding clay.
The learning curve was steep and the payoffs were slow at first, but I was determined to find my way and ascertain the answers I so desired to know. Nothing could deter me and the more I searched the more my heart burned within me for those answers. I invested myself in becoming knowledgeable with some of the best scholarship in biblical studies in order to learn about the right tools and methods that were needed to drill and mine for diamonds in the most diverse and controversial text in the world — the Bible.
Since then, for the most part of my young adult life I have been in pursuit of knowing the greatness of God’s majesty, the immeasurable love he lavishes on those he calls his own, and the unexplainable, undeserving grace that is nothing short of utterly amazing. Captivated by an indescribable God who exceeds any expectation and who cannot be truly comprehended by such a finite mind, I have found my only solace in the words of revelation given in Scripture, in the presence of his Spirit, and in the fellowship of other truth-seekers in his church. Moreover, the grace of the Lord Jesus has been a constant companion that has liberated my soul from the depths of despair. I no longer stumble in the darkness, and his light shines so bright I find myself unable to look away.
If you are a child of the burning heart, I welcome you to this site. But if not, I welcome you all the same. You may be searching for something you felt has been missing in your life, or you may be curious and contemplating what faith really means, or you may sense a deep conviction in your soul that is leading you to explore and understand God, Jesus, grace, redemption, or whatever has thus far escaped your grasp. I admonish you now…continue to seek for that which has eluded your reach! If you persevere and strive for wisdom and discernment, God will grant it, but your life will never be the same. But for whatever reason, do not give up! The road is hard, the task is challenging, and the diamonds are buried deep, but your life will be far better than you ever expected – probably never easier, but it will certainly be far better.
I hope this site assists you in your journey and inspires you to reach for that which can nourish your soul and satisfy the longing within each of us; I hope we can converse and mutually grow together and enter new vistas of truth; and most importantly, I hope you find the diamonds you seek and draw closer to God. Be relentless in your quest to know him for he has never stopped knowing you! ~JW