I love God.
I truly do.
But I've learned incredible things about the way that God loves me in these last couple of years. He's violent, fierce, holy and just. His anger is something so awesome that it makes even demons tremble (much less mere mortals like myself). Yet His love is just as powerful and awesome that even while it seems each week I gain a new insight or understanding of His affections for me - I still have not even grasped a fraction of it; so great is His love.
My love for Him is nothing compared to His for me.
I've also learned though that love is intentional and self-sacrificing. And so as I covet to return to Him as much love as I can I see that Bible study isn't about just learning more religious things and being able to properly state your beliefs.
It's about searching within the pages of this Sacred book, the very character of God Himself. It's about finding out what He's like. What pleases Him, and what displeases Him. Not because you need to know so you can win more souls - but because you just want to know this King you love so much.
I'm bracing myself this week, because this coming Thursday I'm going to do something that actually scares me. In 2004 the church I was attending got several carloads of people together and we all went to see "The Passion of the Christ". Despite the fact that I purchased the DVD shortly after it came out - I haven't seen the movie since - and this Thursday I'm going to watch it again.
If you knew me, you would know I'm not a very demonstrative person publicly. But openly in the theater my heart was simply ripped open and I was sobbing loudly (and embarrassingly) in a crowded theater as they crucified my Lord and Savior. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to watch and I've never been able to watch an Easter presentation since then that included the crucifixion because it absolutely rips my heart out. In that crowded theater, even knowing my words would make no difference, it took everything within me not to scream at the screen to PLEASE JUST STOP.
For the next couple of weeks I couldn't even bless my food without tears falling as I thanked Him for my meal. If you prayed in church to open a Sunday School class I'd be crying again.
The visual of what my Savior went through is more than I can stand. But I've felt Him drawing me towards it again and I just keep putting it off - worried about how I'll manage life in the aftermath.
It seems silly, but I can't just go to work and start crying in between each phone call and that's exactly what I'm afraid will happen. And the kids won't understand if I start crying at the supper table.
God has my attention, and I'm finally resolved to do this - and though I'm nervous about the outcome I know I'll be better off for having done this again.
Perhaps you're scratching your head wondering why on earth I'm carrying on like this about a movie. I understand. Perhaps I'm just too emotional, or sensitive, I'm not sure. I've long since just assumed I am an exceptionally unusual freak of nature. This behavior certainly isn't normal. So at least rest assured that I know I'm a bit off.
Walking through the grocery store with my niece this afternoon she wrapped her arms around me and announced she "had" me. She said she did it because I was always saying how glad I was to "have" her. That she was mine.
And tonight I thought of it in reverse with God in that I hoped He knew for sure that He "had" me. That I am His, mind, heart, and soul. My life is His. My everything is His. This week is His. So this week I'm paying attention to God. I'm searching out His character in the Word of God, and I'm searching out ways to please Him. I will bless the Lord this week.
May His name be praised.
May God richly bless you, and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. May God show you the delights of His heart, and lead you in paths everlasting and true. May our Father teach you and transform you into a vessel of honor and praise that your heart shall flow with rivers of thanksgiving and joy.