L.O.V.E.

To be honest

Words fail me when I think about God’s love.​
Astounding​
Penetrating​
Overwhelming
Magnificent​
Outrageous​
It doesn’t really do it justice.

God is love.
He just is.
How do you describe the love of God?
How do you do it justice?

God’s love is so deep, so high, so wide for me.
So to begin to express that with words, is to underestimate it.

It seems that for me, in the hardest places, the darkest seasons, the loneliest moments, I have in fact encountered the deepest of God’s love.
The relentless, overbearing love of God.

Seems ironic.
When in a culture that promotes a
warm fuzzy,
goose-bumpy,
heart fluttery
kind of feeling of love.

How do I find God’s love in real life?
How do I know that I am loved by an incredible God when I am looking for a feeling?
Almost craving it. Craving to feel it… To feel love. To know love..

It seems to me, to be too easy to feel God’s love when I’m soaring on the mountaintop.
To feel God’s love when all is well.
And that’s all completely necessary and a part of God revealing His love to us.
But what about that other stuff we encounter in our lives.
Rejection; Hurt; Pain; Disappointment; Grief; Betrayal; Sin..
Nothing can separate us..right?

Well certainly the cross, the ultimate act of Love for you and I, wasn’t a mountain top experience for Jesus.
I’m sure.
It was an ugly, despicable, horrifying violence.
And yet..
The most magnificent, profound, beautiful act of love, one could ever know.
Pure love.
The bible calls it a manifestation of His Love (1 John 4)

One of the interesting experiences of life that have taught me about God’s love is Rejection.
Rejection has taught me about the Love of God.
In my constant search for acceptance and peace with people. Trying all I can do to avoid being rejected.
And still it comes.
In the face of rejection, I am confronted to see my own fears and flesh and yet at the very same time, I get a raw picture of the depth of the love of God for me.
A miracle really.
Because as my esteem is rejected and as my person is diminished, God’s perfect love for me remains.
It reminds me that only He can meet my hunger for love and acceptance.
And I stand revealed, exposed, vulnerable & broken. In the face of this love, only to find God is here.
God Himself.
Love.
So Perfect.
And it covers me.
Rejected and yet fully loved.

And isn’t that in fact the miracle of the Love of God.
Like NO OTHER kind of love.

That the love of God is UN-BIASED, UN-INFLUENCED.
God’s love for me and for each of us was entirely unmoved by anything in us.
What was there in me to attract the heart of God?
But on the contrary, everything to repel Him.
Sinful
Broken
Nothing good in me.
We have love for one another because of what is in them.
But God does not love like this.
He loves us first
He loves simply because He is LOVE
It is not only that God loves
But that He is love itself. (1John 4:8)
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
His love is un-influenced by anything in me.
That’s a miracle.

And that the love of God is ETERNAL.
It doesn’t run out.
Jeremiah 31:3 says: He loves us with an everlasting love
And draws us with His love
His love never gives up (Psalm 136)
He has always loved me
Before anyone else did
And will always love me
It has no end.
There is no fear.
Because God’s love is perfect and eternal
Because God’s love is un-influenced by us
We have no fear on Judgement day
Our standing is with Christ.
That’s a miracle.

And that the love of God is LIMITLESS, INFINITE.
A depth and width and height that none can fully fathom
It is beyond great.
Beyond time and space
Beyond my sin
Not limited by my fears or failings
It is not contained or restrained
It cannot be boxed up or summed up
No measure, no boundary
No time frame nor conditions
It’s wild and it’s crazy
It’s passionate and it’s extravagant
It’s over the top and then some more
Limitless
As God is unlimited, so is His love
That’s a miracle.
That’s the love of God

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Love fully

It seems the older I get the more I realise how hard it is to love without conditions…or expectations.

It’s actually unbelieveable to comprehend that kind of love is real. The kind of love that loves people with such freedom.

Actually it shocks me, when I realise God loves us fully, even with the knowledge of how one day, we may hurt him or turn away from him or even not love him back.

When I think about that in the context of my own world, I become uncomfortable. I am deeply challenged by the depth of courage and grace and forgiveness it takes for me to even begin to love people fully. Completely. Despite their failings. Despite my failings.

There is always some valid excuse not to love someone fully.
How do you love someone who rejects you, betrays you, hurts you, disappoints you?
It’s impossible, isn’t it?

But when I open my bible, I am floored by what I see.. By who I see.
Jesus.
And I want to be like Him.

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Sometimes but Always

SOMETIMES BUT ALWAYS

Sometimes I am afraid of the silence. To stop and let the silence speak..

I usually crave to be silent.
With all the noise of life, I seek to be still and listen. To stop, ponder and reflect.

But sometimes I am afraid to hear my own thoughts. Pain. Fear.
To hear what God might be saying. Or not.

I am aware of what the silence will remind me of . And I fear it is too much for me to bear… sometimes.

Sometimes the silence reminds me of the ache in my heart and gives voice to the questions and wonderings that I am afraid to let linger too long.

Sometimes the silence reminds me, I don’t know where God is or what He is saying.

Lost.

And yet in the silence, my heart whispers – be still and know that He is God.

I want answers! But how to be still when there is so much turmoil and unrest in my heart. The silence reminds me I am over it all. And at the end of my own resources and strength.

In my weakness, He is made strong. Always
In the silence – God is strong. Always.

If He says nothing, do I do nothing? At all?
But wait.

Waiting on the Lord can be so frustrating at times. When is enough, enough? Of waiting.

Those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not be faint.
Wait on the Lord.

Sometimes I feel like I’m about to faint. Fall in a heap.
I feel weary.

But wait. Just one more day, one day at a time.
God is strong in the silence and I am not.
When I wait, I see that. He is always strong and I am not.

He is able to do all things
He is creator and giver of life
He is my strength and strong tower
He is all I have and all I really need
In Him is my everything.

He is good. Always
He is strong. Always
He is perfect.

Always.

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An inconvenient gospel

I hear the panic in my sons voice and my heart skips a beat.
My mind begins to race and my breathing quickens.

“MUM! Come quick! I need you NOW!”

What’s happened?

“What is it? What’s happened?”

I’m not sure if I should be running yet. Dropping whatever I am doing.

“Just please come. I really need you. It’s really bad.”

Oh great, I think to myself.
He doesn’t sound hurt or in any real trouble.
I begin to mutter under my breath.
What’s he done now.
What mess am I going to encounter.
Don’t cry over spilt milk.

I’m already feeling the frustration and annoyance building.
From being interrupted.

And who knows what I will be greeted with when I reach the so called emergency.
Trying to get a task done can sometimes seem impossible.
Always distractions, an inconvenience.
A problem. Someone else’s problem.

I very quickly forget the grace I’ve been given.
The undeserved kindness and over extravagant love.
What the gospel really means in a life transformed.

The grace.
Unmerited.
Undeserved.
Unlimited.
Unbelievable.

The gospel.
Outrageous.
Incomprehensible.
Inconvenient.
Glorious.

And we all have our own mess.
Or we feel like a mess sometimes.
Our lives are messy.
Not always going according to plan.

And we do make mistakes.
Sin.
We fail.
All of us.

And what then of this grace?
The gospel.

It mustn’t always be convenient to show grace.
Otherwise it wouldn’t be grace.

But what is the gospel if we can’t come just as we are.
Warts and all.
Fears and failures.
Mistakes and mess.

And call out to the one who is good.
Always so very good.
And ask for help.
Please help.

I’ve made a mistake.
I’ve made a mess of my life.
I was wrong.

Do I really believe the gospel is for me?
Again.
Every day?

Do I believe in a God who would really do all that He could for me in my messiest, darkest moment, so that I could have life?

The miracle of this inconvenient gospel.
That is ready to get involved with my mess.
Prepared to drop everything to meet me.
Not concerned about the distraction, the inconvenience of my mess.

That what is broken is made whole. What is lost is found. What is empty is made full. What is darkness is made light. What is dead is given life.

This miraculous, ridiculous gospel.
That embraces me.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved” Ephesians 2:4

Selah

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Selah

Pause.
Ponder.
Reflect.

Selah is a Hebrew word used frequently in the Bible, often in the Psalms. It is probably either a liturgico-musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, meaning something like “stop and listen”.
The Amplified Bible states Selah as “pause, and think of that”.

I like the thought of that.
To pause.
To take time rather than have time take from you.

Life moves at a fast pace.
There’s a lot to take in on a daily basis.
I don’t want to miss the richness of life just because it moves so fast. I don’t want to live with the fear that my life is so full and yet I’m missing something.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” (Cesarean Pavese)

I believe these moments are from God.
Our days, our lives made up of many moments.

And God is there.

He is an incredibly extravagant and wildly loving God. Whose nature is to give with such richness. So much so, that each moment captured is bursting with the richness of God’s nature and presence.

And these moments need to be remembered, recorded, taken notice of.
Given the time to soak into our hearts and bleed into spirits.

Leaving a mark on us forever.

Challenging us to look for God in everyday life and the extraordinary miracles.

Choosing to see.

And then there is Selah

Choosing to pause and ponder and reflect.
To drink it all in.
All of His goodness.
The richest of riches.

To fully embrace the moment.
To find God.
Selah

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A Time to be Quiet

Sshh.
Quiet.
Can you hear it?

Turn off the music, turn off the TV.
Turn off the phone and the computer. Turn off the iPod and the iPad.
And Listen.

Do you hear that?

It’s quietness.
She’s always there.
Like a faithful, loyal friend.

Not always noticed or acknowledged.
But always there.

Quietness is like the shy younger sister who always gets overshadowed by her older, more outgoing, louder big sister.

She sits and she waits for you.

Knowing you will need, you will crave to be still and listen, eventually.

She understands that we love to be doing and we love to be busy. It makes us somehow feel like our lives are more significant if we can keep on achieving.

She understands that we need to know we have a purpose and time is running out and we can’t waste any of it. And there is so much we dream to do…to be…

But quietness is waiting because when we stop it is there we can find who we truly are and what is deep in our hearts. We can truly listen. Fully hear.

Be quiet,
Be still.
Be still and know.
Be still and know
That He is God.

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Live the questions

The Unknown can be unsettling.
It creates a space that can sometimes be filled with questions.
Life is unpredictable.
Life does not always go according to plan. Well our plans anyway.

As we wrestle with the unknown, we can be confronted with questions that are not partnered with answers.
I have learnt to embrace the unknown and trust more.
I have learnt not to run from the questions but to journey with them. To find God in the unknown and the doubt and the questions.

This has actually become a unexpected gift in my life.

Me & God facing the questions together.

“I want to ask you as clearly as I can, to bear with patience all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were rooms yet to enter, or books written in a foreign language. Don’t dig for answers that can’t be given you yet: you live them now. For everything must be lived. Live the questions now, perhaps then, someday, you will gradually without noticing, live into the answer” (Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke, 1903).

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