So you know how it goes... It's getting close to Valentine's Day and I have already told ya'll that I am a romantic and I am sure that was a surprise to no. one. And yet.
And yet, I really didn't want to write about Love, or Valentine's Day, or whatever.
I mean, really. The Internet is flooded with posts - some even great posts - about this upcoming 'holiday' and I even posted a Giveaway about it this week. (imagine brushing crumbs off of hands and walking away. There.) Only not.
Because, here's the real deal: As much as I may have other things floating around my head and heart to write about - at the very core of who I am... well... there is this truth:
Years ago, I encountered God in a very real, very powerful way and it has forever changed the course of my life and the beat of my heart.
So, maybe next week I will write about Time and How He Knows Us... but today I will recount how I laid with the Lord and He broke through the walls I had built around my heart.
I didn't realize that I had constructed walls of safety out of acts of service... I didn't know that I was growing religious, rather than growing a relationship. Not until Jesus laid down beside me and grabbed hold of my hand, asking permission to just lay with me. I mean, what does one say to that?
(Yes. The answer is, you say yes!)
For months, I would hear Him whisper a book of the Bible to me, calling me to come and spend time with Him. It sounds awful, but it is true - and I suspect we have all done it... we all do it still: I pushed Him aside. I was busy... busy doing great things for God and I was wanting something New. I wanted a New Word... a new revelation.
"Come read Hosea with Me. I have something to show you." He would whisper to my hungry heart.
Yeah, yeah. The Book of Hosea. Minor Prophet. I just kept thinking, "I know that story. I have read that book, Lord! Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitute... he is a picture of You. I get it."
I put it off over and over... sometimes deliberately looking for something new, sometimes simply letting Busy rob me of the Truth I most needed to hear.
Finally, in the midst of a women's conference while up front for prayer, God came near. His power quite literally made me weak in the knees and I found myself flat out on the floor, overwhelmed by His love.
Like Paul before me, 'whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows' - I felt someone lay down beside me and I turned my head. I found myself staring directly into the eyes of my Lord... From His very depths, Love poured out and His smile was wide and warm and nearly laughing... joy spilled from His whole face, as He leaned closer and whispered, with both adoration and a hint of sarcasm, "Now will you go read Hosea?"
(Um, Yes. The answer was, Yes, Lord!)
We lay together, side by side, when He asked if it would be okay for Him to hold my hand and just lay there awhile. I can't tell you how long we were there on that floor - on that holy ground... but I can tell you that as soon as He was gone and I was able, I pulled myself up and I ran for my Bible!
I couldn't get to that little book in the Old Testament fast enough, and I read it in gulps, devouring nourishment that I didn't even know I was starving for. He fed me Life and Freedom and melted the walls of 'service' ...the ways I kept myself busy... the things that I kept trying to do to make the Truth more true, to make me feel more worthy...
You see, I had remembered the Book of Hosea... I knew Hosea was a picture of Christ, but somehow I had forgotten that the prostitute... the wanderer and easily distracted one... yeah, she was me.
It's when I got to Hosea chapter 2 that I was undone in all the best ways!
I encourage you to go... read it all and find the power of the Truth within the power of His Word. It's right there... and if it's for me, then I promise you that it is for you, too!
We are... no matter how we feel or what we think... we are His Beloved and because of who HE is (not who WE are) and because of Whose we are (not What we've done)... He is All. In.
He is madly, passionately, unabashedly, unfathomably in love with us!
I still have my moments of doubt... of being Busy... of falling back into working for His Love. I have "Beloved" tattooed on my skin so with every step I take, I will see it and remember...
But you don't need to go that far. No, it is easier than that...
If ever you begin to doubt in who you are or how He loves, or if you once again find yourself working for what He freely forks over pierced-hand and foot, simply this:
Cry out "My Husband!" and watch and see how Loved and Adored you are!
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,Will bring her into the wilderness,And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;She shall sing there,As in the days of her youth,As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
“And it shall be, in that day,”Says the Lord,“That you will call Me ‘My Husband,And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’…
…“I will betroth you to Me forever;Yes, I will betroth you to MeIn righteousness and justice,In lovingkindness and mercy;I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,And you shall know the Lord.” ~ Hosea 2:14-16;19-20 (The Message)
Now - THAT is just the BEST Valentiney Good News that there is, right?
P.S. I'm linking up with these lovely writers: