I recently revisited a lot of my old friends (my journals from college-on), and ran across this excerpt.
August 8, 2008 – “As I sit here, I can hear the light, yet consistent rain outside. Sometimes, when I don’t recognize You in anything else, it’s the faithfulness of the rain that reminds me of You. I know that sometimes that’s due to my lack of spiritual vision, yet You continue to meet me where I am and draw me back to You.
Lord, I’m here. I recognize my need for You so desperately this morning, as the night longs for the break of dawn and the first glimpse of the sunrise – the reminder of You promise that Your mercies are new every morning, that I have a fresh start in You. Help my heart to hear and receive this Truth, for my mind to see and believe that there is grace beyond comprehension waiting for me just past my decision to let go and let You…
How can You feel so foreign to me when I’ve walked with You all these years? Have I never really known You, or is my heart just that forgetful and fickle? I see that things I despise in me and it makes me weary. Lord – help me get past this! Help me to see You again with new eyes and new vision. Spiritual vision. Kingdom eyes.
May the eyes of my heart be enlightened that I may know and comprehend that glorious inheritance I have with the saints. HOPE.
“Teach me Your will, O Lord, and I will walk in Your Truth. Grant me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name. I will praise You, O lord, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever. For great is Your love towards me. You have delivered me from the depths of the grave.” – Psalm 86:11-13
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” Titus 3:4-8
Your Word falls fresh on me this morning – Grace, mercy, a fresh start, heirs of HOPE –
therefore, in view of this, to devote myself to what is good –
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” -Psalm 5:1-3
God’s provision that saves us spiritually through the lessons of suffering we endure – not about physical and emotional comfort.
In poverty, we find the true riches of our heart – blessed are the spiritually poor
Through loss, we find gain – whoever will lose his life for My sake will have true life
Through death, we find life through rejection of the world’s embrace we’re accepted into God’s family
Through turning our eyes from sinful things, we find vision pure enough to see God’s glory
Through pain-authored humility, we find mercy and grace, peace and love
-end of excerpt
Interestingly enough, in the way that God loves to do this in my life, He’s brought this back to my attention as I’m re-reading “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer – and am reminded of the fact that God has ALWAYS been the one pursuing me – whether it was the lull of the soft rain outside my window that reminded me of Him, or His very Words brought back to mind when I’m having a hard time – He’s always there, reminding me of His faithfulness and beckoning me to come away with Him – ever the Romancer.
I’ve been experiencing somewhat of late the abundance of answered prayer being so thoroughly laid bare before my eyes – the way that God even initiates a thought or question in me to speak to Him, and how quickly He’s delighted in revealing His answer in one form or another. Amazing how much He delights to be in relationship with me…even now I just shake my head, but not in disbelief, because this Truth is slowly creeping into my heart, seeping into my innermost being – which He created and recognizes His signature – and I’m learning that He loves to love me – and just what an incredible Truth that is to live in. And that He loves to love you – the way that He puts you on my heart and brings you to my mind to intercede and to carry your situation to His throne of grace. Oh, how He loves to love…
And I love how this Love takes so many forms – joyful expressions of happiness and excitement and anticipation -and heart-wrenching tears of sorrow. I had a brief moment, about two months ago, where the Lord gave me about 5 minutes with Him to glimpse something that I’m not even sure I can really put into words. It was the fact that He allows Himself to be vulnerable to us – that He stands there, reaching out to us, asking us to Choose Him, the very ones that He came to serve and die for.
And I think of how hard it is, in some ways, for me to be vulnerable to Him – and yet He does it first. He puts Himself out there for us to reject Him every single day, and instead of backing up and closing off, He continues to stand there, open – waiting for the next opportunity to draw us back to Himself.
This glimpse came in response to a conversation that I had regarding what I felt called to avoid, in terms of not being exposed to certain types of media, etc., because of the effect that it has on my heart. God spoke to me some years ago about purity, and that when I allowed myself to listen to certain types of music, certain types of TV shows/movies, that I was becoming less and less sensitive to His Presence in my life. I was no longer focusing on the things that He was speaking to me about, but allowing these new ‘messages’ to lead and guide me and my heart. And so I was explaining that it wasn’t some legalistic stance on rejecting anything ‘mainstream,’ but that when you put it next like this: I can either experience the Creator of the Universe, or enjoy a 30 minute show that is meaningless in view of eternity. There was no real choice.
And so this 5 minute glimpse came, and it was like I could see Christ standing there, every moment of our day, when we decide what we’re going to listen to, look at, engage in conversation about – what we allow into our minds – into our eyes – into our ears – and into our hearts – and He’s asking us to choose Him – choose things that bring Him to our mind, that encourage us in the ways that He’s already moving in our lives. And just how often we don’t choose Him….we choose the next fad musician, the ‘cool, taboo’ author that would rather compromise purity for relevancy…not realizing that when we forsake purity (of mind, heart, speech), we forsake vision and revelation of God -the pure in heart will SEE HIM.
And He stands there, exposed and open and vulnerable, asking us to choose Him, choose the things that clarify our mind and vision so that we can recognize Him there in our lives.
I just sobbed, sitting there on my office floor, humbled that He loves us so much – loves to love us so much – that He just stands there, waiting, asking us to Choose Him. And that He still stands there, after we don’t, asking once again, Please….choose Me.