“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Psalm 119:103
I’ve never been one to be big on Valentine’s Day. I think it is a sweet gesture and I love to see all the splashes of red and pink draped across stores.
I do, however, delight in the celebration and reminder of love and what it means. Specifically, I love to focus on the unchanging love of Jesus Christ. It’s so easy for me to tell Him how much I love Him. It’s a desire of my heart to show Him how much I love Him. I want Him to know how grateful I am that He saved me (eternally) and how He saves me every day!
There is nothing wrong with that, in and of itself, however, God wants us to pause and remind ourselves just how much HE loves us. Not just remind ourselves but actually see how much He loves us. Be aware of it. Watch out for it. Listen for it. Sometimes, I resist this by simply not paying attention. Sometimes, I don’t notice because I am so busy wanting to show Him how much I love Him or show others how much I love them. I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way. We can work at loving so hard that we grow extremely weary and feel a big fat void of God’s love for us.
As I’ve mentioned before, my daughter has a medical condition that requires her to rest several times throughout the day. When she was attending a private school, I would go there daily and prepare a place for her to rest. I would work hard to make it as comfortable as possible. Blowing up a mattress to place on the hard, concrete floor, blankets to keep her warm and a fan to drown out any noise from happy, active children, laughing and talking in the hallways. I worked hard at it, every day. I wanted her to be able to get what she needed so she could endure the rest of the day.
One particular morning, as I unloaded everything at the school, I remember feeling weary myself and simply heavy hearted. In that moment, God reminded me of His love. He reminded me of how time and time again HE makes a place for me to come and rest. A place for me to sit a while and let Him strengthen me again. But I don’t show up. He has it all ready and knows the exact time, but I rush off to the next thing, the next person to love, the next “job” He has for me to be a part of. I want to show Him my love, right????
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give your rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gently and humble in heart, and you WILL find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
He calls for me to come…to come and sit in His love. To find rest in His grace. To be strengthened by His mercy. We don’t often think of mercy as being strengthening. Mercy…it’s what He is known for. It’s what He gave to us on the cross. We live in a world that can feel like the cold, hard concrete where I would place Lanie’s mattress. Yet, God…the creator of this universe, invites us to let Him wrap us in the warmth of His compassion and mercy.
This past week, I have been getting over being sick. My body still feels pretty crummy. I wasn’t back to 100% and I was trying to study and prepare to teach Bible study for this past Wednesday. I love the ladies that are in our class and I value their time. I don’t want to waste one moment, so preparation is extremely important to me! I want us overdosing on His Word!!! I want us full of His promises, challenges, exhortations and convictions!! I want more of HIM and I want us to leave with a desire to give Him more of our lives and more of our time!!
So, I’m sick… and this is stressing my humanity because I can’t seem to prepare as usual. I was asking for God’s grace and help as I normally do, but never the less, I just didn’t feel prepared. Tuesday night I was in full blown pity party mode and sharing with my husband. My perfectionism had totally kicked into high gear!
Wednesday morning came and though super pumped about seeing all my sisters in Christ, I was kind of a mess! I was up early that morning, spending time resting in His Presence. Then….my phone dings. A text. A text from someone saying “You are on my heart- be encouraged. God does not demand perfection. You know how God loves you- you know how much you love Him right back. Progress not perfectionism.”
I sat reading it and my heart began to melt. I knew those “sweet words” were from Him. I knew it! How did she know? (love you ML) Almost simultaneously my phone dang again.
A good friend from Atlanta texting me, “I’m praying for you. You are on my heart. Let me know how to pray specifically.” (Love you EM) Y’all! It’s stinking in the seven o’clock hour of the morning!
I’m melting deeper into the love of God. I’m resting in His love. I’m overwhelmed by His kindness and strengthened by His grace and mercy!! My heart is pounding for my Savior!!! YEP!! This is the kind of thing He does! It just floors me, to be honest!!! And, YES, I record it because I keep entries of all the ways and things that Jesus does in my days on earth. I celebrate them!! I reread them!! Faith builds and excitement flows because after all, that’s what all of us really need…More encounters with the living God! JOY bubbles up! Hope is ignited as He challenges me to replace my perfectionism with His grace. This only comes as we marinate in the Presence of the Almighty and trust Him at His Word! There is nothing sweeter and nothing that will make us feel more loved.
“May the God of all HOPE fill you with joy and peace AS YOU trust in Him and SO THAT you may you overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
What about you? Are you working hard loving others and loving Him but not letting Him love you back? My friends, I believe He has made a place for you to come and rest. I know He has. He is waiting for you to come and sit in His Presence, soak up His love and receive His grace.
Love you all and know I am cheering you on!!