Jesus: "I have made You known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

- John 17:26

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

We are loved.

God is good. Marvelous. Gracious. Caring. Strengthening. Sovereign. Generous. Miraculous! He has been all these things to me, personally in my life. He is a good Father, one who teaches me even when I’m disobedient, even when I’m cold and unresponsive, even when I ignore Him. He doesn’t let go of me. He’s relentless in his loving. I can try and requite it, the way a street lamp tries to contribute to the light given by the moon. And God loves every splutter of light, but ultimately it’s all about him. All on His strength so that He gets the glory. And Gods glory is a beautiful, intangible, unimaginable thing. A thing for which the world was created, for which Jesus died and rose again, and for which we now live. 

And we do live! We live everyday. Every breath is a testament to his grace and mercy and patience and most of all, love. We live to magnify His greatness. That is the best thing for us, and the best thing for Him. We, by his grace, have been swept up into a hurricane, a whirlpool of unquenchable love that overflows and pushes outwards. It’s a river, a flow of something wonderful, the thing that we strive so hard to reach but can only receive through humbling ourselves and taking the gift, the precious gift that the Father is offering: communion with Him. That is the secret to our soul’s whispering, the balm which soothes our aching bones. Him. 

We live in a world where everything is inside out and back to front; we love ourselves first. It sickens me. But the world that we were made for is one of the complete opposite. How strange will it be to exist in a place where it is natural for us to serve others first? Where our immediate and strongest desire will be to love our fellow man, and to love God? How strange and yet how utterly wonderful!! How right! The guide, the rod which serves to straighten the cavities in our souls and hammer our world back into its right place, is scripture. God has given us his word! He’s speaking to us! Oh that we would unblock our ears from the gunk of laziness and earthly things and pries open the lids of our heart and hear Him! He yearns for it. I wish to yearn for it too. I want to want. I wish to wish! I ask that God would soften my heart enough for me to catch the gentle whisper of his Spirit and follow its iron-hard silver thread right back to Him. Let my desires be tuned to His. What an honour it would be to sing along to the murmurings of God! How can he pour so much into a hole that is only receiving, only swallowing, and not giving back? How can he give his everything for a stinking, repulsive, selfish, greedy, sucking world like ours? It is His nature. It blows my mind. He just. Keeps. Giving. I can take such comfort in knowing that you will never abandon me, Father. Whatever happens to this physical body will be yours. Yours in the elation, yours in the pain, yours in the sadness, yours in the joy. Yours for eternity. And how comforting is it to know that I will never reach the bottom of your well. That no matter how many pails of joy and goodness that I pull up, there will always be more to spill into my veins. I know that because Jesus told me. He told me with his sacrifice and his blood. He told me he was willing when he smiled and touched a leprous man. He told me he loved me and would give everything for me when he took the lashes for me, when he bore the crucifixion for me, when he cried out that ‘it is finished’. 

And it is finished. Gods plan is all wrapped up. We are crown-bearers who have done nothing to deserve our status. Crown-bearers who have been bestowed upon an honour to become a part of Gods plan. He’s inviting us in! Our big brother took the punishment for us, and yet we get to reap the rewards. It isn’t fair, but it is gracious! Thank you my God-brother. Thank you for your love. Thank you for the way you sheltered us and ushered us before Gods throne and sit beside him and intercede for us. Thank you for your deep understanding, your empathy and identification. You came down to us. You recognise what it is to be a human. 

There are things going on here that I barely grasp. I feel as if I am scratching the surface of something, gazing in blurry wonder at only the tip of the iceberg…now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. We are the ungrateful owners of such a hope and glorious promise! We will be able to taste the joys of knowing God fully. That will be…something that all the flamboyant and extravagant words in the world will not be able to even begin to capture. That will be, as God loves to describe things, good. How can God squash his secrets into our human language!? I guess that’s why we are in this created world. All of creation sings of its glorious and powerful creator, all animals speak of his life-giving goodness, his character is explained through the way the waves crash recklessly against the cliffs and lap calmly against the grains of sand. But most of all, humans speak of God. We are made in His image. I don’t think we fully understand, or even nearly understand what that means. But there is something sacred about being the imprint or reflection of God on this earth! In every human there is a spark of precious. In every culture, every terrain, every country, every village, every town, every building, every barrier we have built for ourselves – God transcends them all. He got there first and made us all the carriers of something sacred. That both unites us and saddens our wickedness even more. How dare we strike out at one another? It goes against everything that we stand for, everything that we were made for. 

Love is the answer. Not the mushy, mislead, sentimental love that breeds rom-coms and fairytales, but the hard, true, bold, bloody, self-forgetful, self-sacrificial love of God, embodied in Jesus Christ – his son sent to earth to die for us. We are called upon to echo that love. And echo it I will. This sin-ridden body boldly makes the claim, but I know that I will need divine assistance. There is no way a flimsy human like myself could ever bear the cost that real love takes. Only with the same Spirit that drove Jesus can I even hope to achieve and bear something like that. And my Father has seen fit to bestow on us the mighty counsellor, to not leave us as orphans, but to breathe upon us his warm breath of life. 

With the Spirit we are truly alive. And can walk for God as people with true life and great joy, not wandering aimlessly in the shadows of death. We can run towards eternity knowing that, not only is God above us, behind us and in front of us, but also within us, stirring us up from the inside.

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