i learn from our God.
maintaining + growing multiple + meaningful relationships concurrently + consistently takes so much work. time, effort, consideration, adjustments, emotions, heart, patience, prayer. love isn't always easy, and it definitely doesn't always feel good + right; especially when expectations aren't met, and we come to the realization of how much that affects us -- and it's more than we were prepared for.
there are some days when i think to myself, is this worth it all? why does it take so much? so many friends have told me i've gotta stop wearing my heart on my sleeve. it's surely a trend that runs in the family; we're hospitable to a fault, and get screwed by those that take advantage of our generosity. i probably trust others too quickly, give too much too willingly, and too often end up getting hurt.
and in the end, the answer to whether it's worth it all or not is -- yes, because God loves us relationally. He is the epitome of what relationship was created to be. people don't have to define what relationship should look like for us; our Father already set the bar higher than any human can touch when He gave us life in Jesus. He shows us how to make it work. He breathes renewal into a relationship that is dead. He is the reason we engage, take part, share, carry the burden together. and, He deals with a lot more baggage in people's relationships than i will ever be able to wrap my limited head around. that's why with the more we have to forgive, the more He gives us reason to love.
we learn just a taste of what God does for us, from the kind of love we lavishly and naturally outpour when it's fluidly easy to the kind we have to fight to keep loving through when it's so hard, when it hardly makes any sense at all. He waits on us patiently when we ignore Him, He puts up with our drama. He loves us to the core, and the fire of God burns through the inside parts of us that are sick, insecure, immature, jacked up, perverted, wrenchingly broken. He tells us it's going to be okay. He forgives our transgressions, He shows us how to make it right. He believes in us even when we don't believe in ourselves.
a few nights ago, i finally began to understand this part of why i am the way that i am. during a time of amazing, intense prayer in His presence, God spoke loud and clear to say -- make no mistake, He sees me and how i love Him. He showed me a snapshot of how i stand there, arms open wide, calling out to the north and the south, the east and the west, in every cardinal direction to the ends of the earth; given in, waiting to be summoned by name, not wanting anything else but to be sent. "here am i, SEND ME. i'm willing to go wherever You'll have me go, do whatever you'll have me do. i am Yours, my God, and i want nothing else than to be completely consumed in You."
He sees my heart, and He said, "this is how you love Me. you are intense, you are extreme in your love for Me. it is a raw kind of love, it is unbridled passion. the expression of it is constant + ever-present, you want to talk all the time incessantly throughout the days and nights. you're always knocking on My door, sometimes habitually polite with a practiced formality, even though I always tell you that you don't have to knock -- you just come on in, anytime. you tell Me about your family + friends all the time, and ask My advice on how to love them better, how to help them through the rough stuff when you are breaking for them. you surge with rage in defense of those who can't defend themselves, with the authority given to you in My name. you run to aid the helpless, you cry for the hurting because you know My heart. for you know how I stand for you, how I have loved My people. you carry My heart in you. you are an Esther. i have made you a rescuer, a warrior, more than a conqueror... and you have captivated Me, my Angel you have won My heart."
the way i naturally love people is the way i love my God. the difference between the two is this: while God loved me first, more than i'll ever be able to love Him back; people often can't, don't, won't. and while it sucks for a bit, it'll be okay -- because loving people is re-presenting God's love to them. and if i carry the heart of the Father in me through the Holy Spirit, i can't stop loving because His heart enlarges mine. there will always be more than enough. when i run out, He replenishes. He shows me the way. He'll reveal what people need, what He'll have me do, how He can change me for the better. His love is so great it can take the self- out of my self-righteousness, and He shows me that the kind of love He loves us with can be loved forward to those who don't deserve it -- we never deserved it to begin with. and yet, experiencing this incredible kind of love is so out of this world it makes you wonder how it's even remotely possible. He makes the impossible possible. He makes love make sense.
the ways of the world easily define my love as being a doormat, but You call me Your beloved. with You i'll never be unappreciated, overlooked, disregarded, unimportant. my actions and professions of love will always be received -- gratefully, genuinely, understood perfectly. i'm never insignificant, i never feel small or meek, my needs are never neglected or not worth Your time in my relationship with You. Jesus, You're the only one who will never tell me to stop. i'll never be too much for You. You can always take more and You always want more. i can't get enough of You and i can be totally shameless about it. i always want You. all of me, i am Yours. i know You've loved me from the beginning of time, and i hope to God i'm ever faithful in loving You to the very end.
God, i think of all the times i've stood there and saluted You like a soldier, ready at any moment's notice to be shipped out afar. to be taken into the unknown, praying for my life for the kind of faith that comes only from the God who loved us before the dawn of time. Your love for me makes me feel like i'm going to explode, like i climbed inside a cannon thinking i could hide from it for awhile only to find out i'm getting the opposite of what i had intended. Your love is a force to be reckoned with that nothing i attempt to do in my power would ever be able to stop. i try to slow it down and it shoots me out of the barrel like a cannonball, rocking me harder than i can take.
i always aimed to be a captain, desiring to rally the troops into an absolute kind of loyalty to serve our Generalissimo ferociously in any way You order, even if it's knowingly straight into our own deathbeds. for You my Lord have promised to us the very crown of life. i march around trying to stay disciplined to all the little details, waiting impatiently and wanting to be made useful already in my restlessness. You smile and gently tell me to let You love me good. You tell me You made me to be more than a captain. You made me alive in You, by taking off the cap that hid away my face from You, that which i pulled down low and tight by reasoning of a fearful awe -- You were always far too Holy, too good for a wretch like me to ever look You in the eye. yet You lifted my chin so that i no longer looked at the ground, but straight into Your eyes -- and You see me. You see me, all of me, and You don't ever look away.
|Photo Credit: "standing in the light"|
people can treat me like a maid, but You remove the dishrag from my clasp so that You hold my hand in Your own and You seat me at Your throne. in You, my hand is already won.
Christ, Jesus You made me Your queen of spades --
may You always be my King of hearts.