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Posts Tagged ‘#godlovesyou’

Seriously?

I have this experience periodically. I will be musing, or mourning, or making sense of life in my heart and mind on something for days … days, maybe even weeks. Then, suddenly, I am flabbergasted by what seems like intentional communications to me, from the Creator of heaven and Earth.

They will come in the form of social media posts, song lyrics that are playing on the radio, or words from another who has no idea what is going in my heart and life.

It makes me feel a bit as though I am experiencing Zephaniah 3:17 :


The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Except that, in these cases, the verse might be re-written as :

The Lord your God is always right beside you, a mighty one who will save, support and encourage; he will rejoice over you with joyfulness through your co-workers; he will quiet you by his love written all over instagram; he will exult over you with whispers of encouragement through singing on the radio; he will speak his message of care to your heart and mind, while you listen to that podcast.

It is as though God is listening to the silence around us, hearing every beat of our heart, whispering into our souls,

I see you

I know what you are experiencing

I love you

and will pursue you, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).

There is no other god who reaches so far to show himself to us. No other who sticks closer. No other who knows us so well that he knows our silent thoughts, and fears, and insecurities, and doubts.

People, the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and Earth, the one who loved us so much that he sent his Son … he is worth following, he is worthy of our praise. Follow Him and you will experience a love and freedom beyond anything else.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

Psalm 139:7-8

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The feeling of being in love is euphoric, but it is not necessarily intimacy.

Intimacy is (poorly) defined in dictionaries as close familiarity, an intimate act, sharing secrets, knowledge of another.

The thing about intimacy is that if it is to be authentic intimacy, is cannot occur in isolation with just one person.

Nor is intimacy necessarily physical. Sex is often viewed as intimacy, but it cannot truly be intimate unless both individuals feel safe and share a connection beyond just the physical experience.

My definition would be :

intimacy is a deep, unexplainable connection between two or more individuals who attend to each other in their sharing of time and space

I have to say I think there cannot be a more intimate relationship than that of prayer, between a mere mortal and the God who created them.

In a comment on a blog post the other day (A Prayer of Trust) a dear friend left me the following (names changed) experience she had in prayer, not for herself, but for another :

The other day I got an email from Tammy. I had promised to pray for her one day a week and I had forgotten! So I started to pray and then asked him if he took retroactive prayer into consideration (I love the honesty 🙂 ). As I was muddling through this concept I got this feeling, like he was looking at me. Jesus was looking at me. Not at Tammy and those I was praying for but looking at me. Seeing me with such an intent look. Like while I’m praying he is interested in me and not all those other people I’m concerned about. Then I realized that that is what prayer really is. Just talking to Jesus with our eyes fixed on each other like lovers, holding hands,not saying much. He loves ME! He accepts me like I am and he will deal with those I care about in the same way.

As I read her words, specifically those which are underlined, a feeling of familiarity came over me … for I knew exactly of what she was describing.

Moments in prayer when the words I speak fade into the background as the eyes of my soul meet his, when I know that I am present with him, that he is present with me. When everything and everyone one else disappears into the background. When prayer is not about praises, and confessions, and requests but about a relationship of intimacy.

when it’s just the two of you and you know you are loved beyond measure

Early mornings, no interruptions, out in the middle of nature, in the middle of a sleepless sleep, standing in the shower with the water beating down, sitting on a city bus, standing on a beach … the place doesn’t matter, plans don’t matter, failures don’t matter, even prayer requests for others don’t matter … just the intimacy between you and your God in shared time and place.

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I remember a time, many years ago, when the rent was due and no money in the bank with two days before payday. We prayed. The paycheque arrived in the mail and was predated … for the day that the rent was due.

I remember a time when hubby had to have a biopsy. He was scared, I was scared. We prayed. When the results came back and there was nothing to be concerned about.

I remember a time when our daughter was heading to university and we had little with which to help her financially. We prayed. Then she received a very unexpected bursary.

We prayed. God answered.
and our expectation that this is the norm was created.

Unfortunately the immediate is not the norm, but the abnormal, the unique … honestly, it’s the rarity.

Much of the time we pray and wait … and wait some more. Sometimes the answer isn’t what we want. Sometimes the answer never seems to come at all.

Shawn Bolz has said,

“A lot of times we really want to bypass process. We just want instantaneous, we want immediate gratification, we want God to meet our needs, we want God to meet our desires. But He’s the God who loves process, He’s in the process.”

In this time of instant everything, from gratification to credit to all that Amazon Prime delivers, we are unpractised in process. Yet, from Genesis to Revelation process or order is a common thread … process is God’s norm.

God operates in the order of process. We only have to open Genesis and read the creation account to see that his ways are detailed, methodical, scientific, logical … in short, he generally moves through a process.

And the process he works through is his process. His perspective is grand, limitless … more vast than we can even imagine. He is all-knowing … aware of the past, present and future. It is his process, there is purpose in the process and we can trust it!

The other thing to remember, while wading through whatever process you are in the midst of is that he cares for you immeasurably more than we can imagine, more than anyone else in our lives. He loves to the point of allowing the blood of his own son to spill for you … If he loves you that much, he won’t leave you in the midst of the process you are currently going through.

“And I am sure of this,
that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion
at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:6

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IMG_4462An early morning drive to take my son to his weekend job at a camp out of town was such a gift as the weekend began, and the previous week came to a close.

As I returned home yesterday, under the cobalt blue sky, as I absorbed the serenity of the silence in the vehicle, as I reflected on the week, I realized how many times I had experienced something like kisses blown from heaven, and was completely unaware.

When the week began I had a plan of self preservation, to ensure that I would not be working on empty. Within hours of deciding on my plan, it became apparent that my plan was thwarted before I even gave it breath.

Isn’t that a common human experience?

Don’t we all have days, times, situations
when our plans for good are halted?

Don’t such times
just make us throw our hands up
to the heavens in frustration? defeat?

The rest of the week passed … a week of  living for the weekend.

(don’t tell me you’ve never had one of those)

It wasn’t until I was contentedly driving home alone, until I whispered one sentence …

I so needed this drive full of visual beauty …

And, like a light being turned on in a dark room, pushing all that hindered full sight of what the room contained, the blessings of the week came into full view.

  • the end of the horrible, awful, terrible cold early in the week
  • the celebration of our son’s birthday with he and his friend
  • the laughter in the kitchen one night as our daughter regaled us with a spider story
  • attending the birthday party of a long since graduated student
  • the words of affirmation and thanks from another long since graduated student
  • a forecast of sun, sun, sun
  • the warmest greetings from a mom I barely know, whose daughter graduated with ours
  • an unsigned, cheery postcard in the mail

Each event, as I reflected, were like lightly placed kisses on ones forehead. The kind that  are more about adoration than passion, more about giving than taking, sometimes barely felt at all … yet they build up, are more intimate and last longer than any other.

Though we can interpret each of these events as simply just individual events, just the happenstance of life, there is more benefit from them, more purpose and life-giving in them if we can see them as (I believe with everything in my being) the gestures of love from a very loving God, who desires that we see his love and care for us as constant, as abundant.

And so, I look back at the events of this week and I can see the love my heavenly father has for me.

May I prompt you to also look back at your week, and see if you too were so busy living life that your missed the kisses blown from heaven into your week.

“For the LORD your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17

 

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Some days are hard, or sad, or frustrating, or disappointing, or full of grief. This is a reality of real life.

We do not live our days on mountaintops, with beautiful vistas, the sun always shining, and things always going our way.

3

When the days are full of shadows, we sometimes need to be reminded that we are loved.

1

When just getting out of bed takes all that is within (and more), to choose to throw off the covers and emerge from your place of rest.

4

When your world seems to be full of bad news.

2

When it seems that you do not fit in, that you are not enough. That there is rejection of you from all around.

5

When you just hurt … your body, your mind, your heart.

6

When life is hard, when it is more difficult to do life, when the news is bad, and when it seems that there is nothing and no one to live for or with …

7

His love for you does not depend on your love for him. He is always there, always loving you.

“This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us”
1 John 4:10a

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Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

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