I absolutely love that song, 'How He Loves' by David Crowder Band. Love it. Love. It. I remember the first time I heard it I was driving and listening to KLOVE. Tears came to my eyes, and I wished I'd had that song several years back. It would've nurtured my aching heart and tired soul so much. Well, it still does even though I'm no longer in that dark place. I've come to understand that is one of the best things about God's love--it is necessary and awesome no matter where you are. Desperate or content, searching or found, devastated or hopeful.
I started to learn the depth of God's love after my heart had been crushed. For a long time I blamed this heart crushing on a boy. After all, it was our break up that seemed to have left me devastated and lost. It seemed that he was the source of all my pain. But I think even then, even before I could admit it, I knew that wasn't the case. He was just a boy, doing the best he could...it just turned out his best wasn't good enough. And neither was mine. It never is. It never can be. Our best is still hopelessly flawed and insufficient.
I can remember feeling astonished that the Sunday School song about the wise man and the foolish man was true. It was not just a song for contractors, apparently it was a song for me. About me. And me, a Sunday School kid, been in church all my life, little self-righteous me, had fallen into the foolish man camp of sand-builders. I felt the full weight of my foolishness. I'd placed all my hopes, security, and worth on men--both literally and figuratively. And when they couldn't give me what I needed, when the rains came down and the floods came up, my house was washed away. My heart was left homeless.
And it was then that He could find me. When as a little lamb lost in the wood, I finally started calling out for help. I strained to hear His voice. I yearned for the safety of His arms and His flock. Not anything else. Not anyone else. Just Him.
And I came to learn that He is indeed jealous for me. It broke His heart for me to turn on His love and give myself to another. I put a mere mortal in His rightful place. I suffered the consequences, I think He wanted to save me from that but His word is true. He had to turn me over to my desires and to let me suffer the fruits of those decisions. He had to. God can't violate His own laws, statutes, commands, promises. I think of the scene in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when Susan suggests that Aslan not obey the ancient law, and he growls at her. God's laws must be obeyed, even by Him. Especially by Him.
But how He rejoiced over me. He showered me with His love. Clothing me in the richness of His grace and forgiveness. Washing me clean with His own sacrifice. Making me one worthy of His love. Me. The one who had known better and still turned away. The one who had made a disgrace of everything He is. He took even me and made me something beautiful.
I wish I could tell you that I've stayed in the flock and never wandered astray. I would love to report that I've never again been unfaithful to my Lord. But that would be a lie. Perhaps even an impossibility. But in spite of my unfaithful heart, He remains faithful. In spite of my flawed and fickle outbursts of love, His love is unwavering and unchanging.
Steady and true is the way God loves me, the way He loves you. His love doesn't make our sins and philandering okay. Not at all, not even a little bit. But His love covers a multitude of sins. If we accept it, if we bend beneath the weight of His wind and mercy, as Mr.Crowder would sing. That's all He really asks. I've tried to make it up to Him, to show Him how good I can be. But I inevitably fail and am left with nothing to offer but crumbled bits of good intentions. He doesn't want us to show Him how good we can be--our best goodness is still sin. He wants us to let Him do the work. He wants to show us, I think, how good we can be. How good He can make us as He is making us more like Jesus.
Just take His love. Hold on to it, cherish it, cling to it, never let it go. And all the rest will come together as God orchestrates the symphony of change in our lives.
I wrote this post yesterday but didn't have time to edit and post it...soooo since it was Monday, I'm going to share some of my 'One Thousand Gifts'.
41. A homemade Valentine card from my husband
42. Dinner being made when I walk in the door
43. A clean kitchen!
44. A puppy that only ate one flip-flop when left alone for 6 hours
45. A quiet afternoon at work
46. Pictures of my grandmother and great-aunt at a tea party
47. Feeling comforted by God's word
48. Peace that passes understanding
49. The promise of 'inexpressible joy'
51. A friend sharing a trailer for a Jane Eyre movie that actually looks faithful to the book.
It's the little things in life...