Monday, May 09, 2011

He Still Speaks Words of Love My relationship with God has grown over time as have many of my relationships. My relationship with Jerry grows daily – as long as he and I both put time and effort into it. With each day that goes by we seek to know each other better by listening and coming together. But sometimes it is easy to have doubts about the people in our lives – including God. I think that doubt can be a useful tool in your relationship with God if used properly. What I mean is this – doubt should be used as a type of questioning tool – a way to converse with God when He seems quiet or distant and when you don’t know where you stand. The proper way to use doubt is to first never compromise God’s faithfulness and the true essence of who He is. That requires that you know who He is first. (That is another post for another day.) Just over a year ago, driving home from church, Jerry and I had the same song in our heads. (We have never had the same word or message from God before.) The song was “When I Think of You” by Michael W. Smith. We thought it was strange that we both had that song in our heads and yet we had not heard it in awhile and it was not played at church. I felt like we needed to know more about this, so I pulled out the CD to see if there was something in the CD jacket that we needed to know. I found the reference to Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty enough to save you. He will take great delight in you. The quietness of his love will calm you down. He will sing with joy because of you." (New International Readers version - Copyright © 1996, 1998 by Biblica) At the time, I was struggling with the back to work blues. The next day I was scheduled to go back to work for the first time since Abby was born. This verse gave me great comfort. I felt like God was saying he was delighted with Jerry and me. It brought tears to my eyes! Who were we that God would speak to us in this way? What a wonderful gift! Fast forward to now. I’m finishing up One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I’m also reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I’m at this stage in my relationship with God where I’m asking myself, what does it mean to really love God? Intellectually I love him, but I don’t think it has broken into the core of my being. I’m one of those people who need to “get it” intellectually before I get it at a deeper level. Crazy Love is challenging me to not be a lukewarm Christian. The book says that to be a Christian is at its very nature loving God as much as I love myself – relentlessly. I’m so.not.there. As I’m reading One Thousand Gifts, I’m pondering how after all this time how I just don’t get it. Ann is telling the reader how she went to Paris to learn how to “make love to God.” Makes ya blush a bit, right? Me too, because I don’t really get that. Yet everywhere in the Bible it says that we are the bride of Christ. Well, to be a bride, you have to be more than friends, right? There has to be a greater level of intimacy. So as she is retelling her journey – she watches the sun rise from the airplane and she realizes that God is singing His love song to her from Zephaniah 3:17. The same Zephaniah 3:17 where he spoke to Jerry and me a year ago. I put down the book and I sob. He won’t ever stop reminding me – this flawed, speck of dust in the cosmos – that he loves me. I can’t help but ask over and over, why? I will never understand. But the bottom line is this – He loves me, He delights in me. While I don’t yet understand the level of intimacy He is inviting me into, I still go forward seeking to know more.


Rachel said...

I think it is difficult to equate our relationship with Jesus as a bridegroom and bride since that relationship has been so skewed and perverted by the enemy here on Earth. Think about it. Genesis 2:25 says that Adam and his wife were both ...naked, and they felt no shame. Enter sin. What was the immediate consequence? "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;" (Genesis 3:7). I doubt it was like a bad dream where you look down and realize you are some public place with no clothes on. Adam and Eve knew they were naked before. But after they sinned, they didn't like being naked together anymore. It made them uncomfortable with each other and with God. When God comes looking for them and Adam explains that he hid because he was naked, God asks point blank, "Who told you that you were naked?" (ch. 3 v. 10-11). Obviously this shame and embarassment with being naked was not part of God's original plan. But why did the enemy attack that first? Adam and Eve could have become angry and tried to kill each other as a result of the original sin. I wonder if even then the enemy knew that the relationship of God's crown jewels of creation, man and woman, would model how God would love His people. So when given the opportunity to mess everything up, the enemy went for the jugular and hasn't let up since.

Jennifer Powell said...

Well, spoken, Rach! If only it could all be as it should. Thanks for the comment.