I was listening to the radio this morning when a song carried me away from my present reality. With lyrics that penetrated my heart and touched something in me that needed to be reached, the song carried me into worship and brought tears to my eyes. I was driving my daughter to school, so I was somewhat limited in how I could express what I was feeling, but that did not change the reality of what my heart was screaming.
The truth is, this happens to me a lot. Not as often as I would like, but often enough that I know it’s the work of the Holy Spirit inside me, romancing my heart, not a caffeine-induced craze or blood sugar related phenomenon or anything else the world can throw at me. It happens in random times and random places, and that is just how I have come to understand how my God works.
That, friends, it just His kind of love.
There is a part of me that doubts that it could be true. I live in a world that is skeptical of things that appear so inexplicably good. It is far easier to assume that what we hear about God is a dream – a pie-in-the-sky kind of hope.
“Honestly: If I *didn’t* believe in God, but studied Jesus, I’d think, ‘I wish there WAS a God like that.'” – Brant Hansen, Air1 radio personality
And there are times when that nagging, tugging doubt gets to me. I look around in church, for example, and think, “What if we’ve got this all wrong? What if God – all that He is – cannot be simply boiled down to love, as we say? What if love is not the point? What if it’s just not that good?” Or I catch myself worshiping in my car and realize how silly it must look to anyone passing me on the road, and wonder if somehow this could all be too good to be true.
I mean, I have to think about it. I see God – this amazing, flawless, majestic, high above it all GOD – and then I see me. Me. Me, who has more mistakes and regrets than hairs on my head. Me, who worships God one minute and then the next instant floats back into the world and seems to have forgotten all that my heart and my mouth just said. Me, who can muster up more love for the cashier at Panera than I can some mornings for my own family. I see God, and then I see me, and I think…could this be too good to be true?
Could it be too good to be true that a flawless God would sacrifice Himself in such relentlessly passionate ways for endlessly messed-up me? Our world – our entire way of thinking about things – says yes. Nothing is free. Nothing is that good. Nothing is that altruistic and selfless and pure.
But that’s our world. Our world can’t understand that because…well, because that’s not us. But if not for love, why would God have come? Why would He have chased us? Why would He have pursued us as He did? And why would He continue to do what He does in a million ways every day to get our attention and our hearts?
That’s just His kind of love, and He can ‘t help it. It’s relentless and all-consuming, and yes, it seems odd to a skeptical world. It seems foolish to give yourself away to something so….so….so inexplicably good. But this God I know…He’s worth it.
My God is not one to doubt or fear. He’s not one to give yourself over to halfheartedly, because His heart pulses with your name with every beat. He is not one to hold yourself back from, because He withholds nothing – nothing – from you. He is not one we should be skeptical of, because He is what He says and He says what He is. There are mysteries, yes, but there are no inconsistencies. The things we don’t know will only serve to make us love Him more once they are discovered.
That is the God I know.
The God I worship is the One who romances my heart in a million ways in an ordinary day. (On days when that appears to be untrue, the fault lies with me.) He directs my attention to a beautiful sunset and whispers His love into my heart. He comes to me in lonely darkness and wraps me in peace. He created vines with leaves in the shape of hearts, not by coincidence but as an intentionally tangible reminder (in a language I can understand) that He loves me. Oh, how He loves me.
He is the same One who placed dozens of heart-shaped shells in my path as I walked on the beach this past summer, assuring me over and over again that yes – YES, Jessica – this love is real.
He is the One who infuses every cell and every atom of creation with His presence, reminding me always and everywhere that His love is real.
It is real and it is true. The fact that it is so incomprehensible to us emphasizes how badly we need it. We need His love as certainly as we need air to breathe; our souls crave His touch as our parched throats long for water. Once we begin to grasp how He loves us, it changes everything. Absolutely everything, and while it may still seem too good to be true, we all somehow realize how desperately we need it to be true.
And it is. Oh, yes. It is true.
Resting in His love,