Life since November has been a whirlwind of emotions and personal detours that has left me in a state of spiritual disarray. For a while, I found myself at the foot of the cross daily, glorying in the simple fact that my Father loved me.
Not only does He love me, but He loved me enough to send His most valued thing – His Son – to die on my behalf. That is no ordinary love.
“How He Loves” has become one of my favorite songs, and as I prayed tonight, struggling to grasp hold of some flotation device as I sank into my own misery, the words flowed into my mind and their meaning fought to take root in my heart.
He is jealous for me /
I am finding more and more that I have mistaken common grace for the immense and incredible love of the Father. It is certain that He bestows gifts of grace to all mankind – men and women see with eyes, eat tasty foods, experience success, and hold newborns regardless of faith in God. Christopher was quick to remind me the other night that God grants common grace to reveal aspects of Himself to the world and to draw men unto Him.
But He is jealous for me. That is no ordinary love. The love of the Father is a love that protects, never fades, and that fights for me when the covenant that I cannot keep on my own is threatened. My Savior will fight for my heart when other things threaten to take it from Him.
And, perhaps if I am fully honest with myself, He has had good reason to fight for my heart recently. There are too many distractions, no matter how hard I try to ward them off – only one taking root in my heart is too many.
Loves like a hurricane //
I am a tree / Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy //
‘Hurricane’ is an appropriate word. Life seems to be throwing all sorts of things at us from every angle and we can’t seem to make our way to the eye, where peace reigns in the middle of the storm. And we are certainly bending beneath every bit of its weight.
And, yet, I can almost see the love of God in each wind, if I let myself. God’s love abounds in Christopher’s skiing mishap, as He continues to show Himself faithful with the slow restoration of movement to Christopher’s foot and the fact that it could have been much, much worse. God’s love resides in our housing situation, waiting to close on a house that seemed impossible from the beginning and has been one victorious and humbling hurdle after the next. God’s love is evident in the girls’ retreat last weekend and the prayers that were answered for unity and love among them. God’s love brings mercy in the form of my little brother – who was fully available and gave up a few of his days to come help me get home things straightened out on a short deadline. God’s love is with others, as His protection and desire for His glory to be made great are revealed in circumstances beyond anyone’s control.
And God’s love is perfect, seeking to refine me to make me more like His Son.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware / Of these afflictions eclipsed by Glory /
Oh, how I wish I could understand what He is doing! I am so vastly unaware of the workings behind the scenes, of how these afflictions are to be eclipsed by glory because of the victory of the cross!
And I realize just how beautiful You are
and how great Your affections are for me //
It is too easy to look at the presence of common grace and pitch a fit over not being granted one or two pieces of it. Why do I care so much when I have something so much greater – when the God of the Universe loves me with no ordinary love?
I so desperately need to understand, but not what I think I must – I do not need to understand which pieces of common grace God has for my life, but the very important truth that He loves us. How He loves us so.
[[“How He Loves,” lyrics by John Mark McMillan]]