Sunday, February 13, 2011
My first confession is this: Although I am on my church grounds frequently, I rarely actually go to the worship service. I am the assistant director of our Christian education program, so often I am gathering supplies, checking on staff and volunteers, making copies, etc. However, since my husband often feels as though he is a single parent on Sunday mornings, sitting the pew all alone, I am trying to make a concerted effort to make it to the worship service at least twice a month. It's now mid-February and I have been to church a whopping ZERO times. Obviously, I am failing in my objectives. Alas, I had big plans to attend tomorrow, but my oldest is now sick with strep and it looks like mom and dad will be tag-teaming so that we can both do what we need to do at church while keeping the rest of the congregation safe from exposure. I tell you this only because what I am writing for Michelle's link-up did not come from church, I did not hear this on Sunday, and I'm not even writing on a Monday, but isn't she sweet and full of grace to let me join in the fun anyway?
My second confession is this: I talk a big talk about accepting grace, living in His mercies, receiving His forgiveness, and I do believe this in my heart of hearts, especially for you, my friend. But sometimes when He asks me to receive these things for myself, well, I have a bit of a hard time putting one foot in front of the other. I was talking to my sweet friend, Jenny, in the car on the way home from the doctor's office, lamenting about how I was trying to figure out if I had done the right thing, said the right words, if I had searched every cranny of my heart for any missteps or judgements in a certain relationship of mine. And after listening to all of that, she says something to the effect of:
Perhaps He is looking to reprimand you, Jen. Perhaps He just wants to father you, to love on you, maybe rub your back a little?
Before I knew it, tears pricked at my eyes. My heart screamed yes and my mind simply said, No, I'm sure that's not it.
My heart yearned to stand before the Father and let love cascade down around me, to fill the holes that had been shot through my heart, to relinquish the pain and allow His healing balm to cover me.
My mind said, You are so imperfect, you are so flawed. There is so much work God has to do in you. You could never be right about this. Keep working to get rid of all that bad stuff in your heart.
And I've been a bit paralyzed ever since.
What does it mean to let the Father father you? How do I simply stand at the base of His waterfall of love? How do I receive love without striving for perfection, without striving to be as holy as I possibly can be?
And today, I read these words from my One Year Bible:
"...for He is a God who is passionate about His relationship with you." (Exodus 34:14)
"When Moses came down the mountain carrying the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn't aware that his face glowed because he had spoken to the Lord face to face." (Exodus 34: 29, emphasis mine)
I promise you, I am no Biblical scholar here, but I can tell you how He used these two verses to speak to my heart (quickly because this is getting a little long).
God is passionate about His relationship with me! We all know that relationships will whither and die if love ceases to grow. And we know that we are capable of loving other human beings despite their flaws. Therefore, I can draw the conclusion that God can still love me and show me this love even when (and there will always be a when) I still have things to work out, when I still sin, when I still fall in the same holes over and over and over again.
The fact that Moses' face glowed just by being in God's presence signifies the JOY of communing with God. Moses was on the mountain getting a list of directions for the Israelites to follow so that they could keep their covenant with God. He spent 40 days and nights hammering this all out (literally) and yet, he stilled radiated. It speaks to the fundamentals of God: He is love. He is joy. He is more than enough and more than willing to overflow my cup.
This week, I am going to stand under the waterfall. Will you come, too?