So this is a post about love. God’s love, Jesus’ love, my love. For some people writing a post about love would be like…the throw away-blow off-last minute-fluff post. Not the case for me. For me, to dwell on love and grace…it’s a little out of character. In the partnership of truth and grace—I air on the side of truth. I like justice, I like things to be in their proper place, I like the order that truth brings to chaos. That being said, I have at times worked myself crazy getting caught in a cycle of frustration because
surprise surprise: everyone on earth doesn’t consult me before making
decisions…or hey, living life for that matter. My husband challenged me
recently to pursue mercy, something that just sounds annoying to me. Ok not
annoying but….well yea annoying. But I honestly committed to him that I’d give
it a shot.
In a series of events in the last few months (some of my own doing and some not so much my choice) I’ve learned a few things that have rattled the deepest part of me. I hope I’m never the same. What I learned came in two parts, what I learned about God and what I learned about me.
Here is the biggest thing I finally learned about God. I say finally, because it’s never been hidden or hard to figure out. It’s all over the Bible, it fills our worship songs, and it is essentially one of the most basic concepts of the Gospel. Ready? If you read it carefully you may still be able to hear my mind exploding and my heart being totally flattened by it. (I’m going to type it the way I received it, so the “I” is not me. Make sense?)
“I am equal parts Mercy and Justice.
I satisfy my justice with my mercy.
If you aren’t pursuing both parts of me, you aren’t pursuing me.
My mercy is how you deal with ‘that thing’
I am the Good King AND the Merciful Judge.”
How could I have missed this for so long? Even though mercy and love and grace, are all different attributes of God, they would all be in one big box of the things I struggle with emulating. So I guess, I’ve just kind of skipped over those parts of God’s character—no, that can’t be true, because I have never struggled with receiving love, mercy, or grace for myself. Just with portioning it back out for others. But by seeing a more full picture of who Christ is, I want more. I want more of Him, I want to be like Him. I want to return His love. I want to revel in His love. I want to trust in His love. I want to live through the filter of His love. Out of His love both His justice and His mercy have been poured out and are being poured out. I wish I could accurately describe how much this changed, astonished, rattled, awakened, delighted my heart. You will just have to take me at my word, that this simple concept met with the grace to see it, has been life giving and renewing in me. And so I guess this is a good time to get around to what I learned….or more what I realized about me.
Have you ever spoken to a person about something or someone that they supposedly love, but you just don’t buy it? Something in their nonchalant attitude or their distant tone, it just doesn’t read as love. They could give you a million reasons why it is love, but it doesn’t translate. It doesn’t show. It’s not obvious, it’s hidden, it’s guarded, and it’s forced. I’ve been on either side of that conversation far too many times. But this last time, it hit me hard. It hurt. It was offensive. And that’s when I realized, my love for Jesus has grown and changed and matured. I feel a sting followed by an ache, when I hear someone talk about my precious Jesus, my savior, with such matter of factness. I finally grasp the disgust of lukewarm faith. (Revelation 3:16) I’m done with that. I’m drawing a line in the sand. I love Jesus so why would I act any differently? For the first time I genuinely do not care if the cynics think I’m cliché, or the unbelievers think I’m crazy, or if the intellects think I’m naïve. Jesus saved my soul; I owe Him everything. I won’t hide my affections. I want to love Him with such ferocity and devotion that my kids yearn for it, that they describe me as one who walks with the Lord, that they see all my victories are His victories, that they are drawn in and desperate for their own fellowship with Christ. I won’t look back and I won’t wait. I won’t hesitate to say His name. I won’t make vague allusions. My eyes have been opened. And what I see is so much more than I ever imagined. And I know there is still so much more.
When I met him I had no idea how to love or even what love was- true, real, pure love at least. But over the years He has kept on loving me with a patient, strong, steadfast love. And I realized I’m loving Him better because He is teaching me how.
If you find yourself on the fence...don't wait any longer. Take the leap. Love and be loved.