I was talking to my daughter about how, at various times in my life, it has been different aspects of the character of God that have particularly encouraged me.
God's sovereignty, his goodness, his wisdom, his unfailing love...all of these give me a tremendous sense of assurance, security, comfort, and hope.
But lately, I have been dwelling on God's faithfulness. Overwhelmed by his faithfulness.
A friend wrote recently about how we often create images - idols, actually - of who we think we are, of who we think others should think we are. And he wrote of the sweetness of being loved by someone who saw through his self-deception and loved him in spite of the ugliness underneath. Someone who loved him, and continued loving him as time peeled back the layers of deceit to reveal the truth. Someone whose love had a transforming effect on him. Someone who desired good for him, whose love pushed through his pride and bitterness until it found kindness and tenderness.
My friend went on to write: "But much, much more than that, I have been loved by Christ who for some unexplained and deeply mysterious reason, set His heart on me. And so the me I have imagined and loved and gloried in, must become what He has imagined, desired, and ordained."
(You can read my friend's entire post HERE - it is short and worth your time to read.)
So, back to the faithfulness of God. I was out walking this morning, and I was thinking about the faithfulness of God, and about how God is just ALWAYS HERE. He never leaves. Never, ever, ever.
I mess up - terribly. I sin - again and again and again. I think wrong thoughts and say wrong words and act wrong actions - and in the worst of it, God is always just RIGHT HERE. And when my storm of anger or bitterness or stupidity or rebellion or self-pity or ignorance or whatever finally passes, He is STILL RIGHT HERE.
He never leaves.
He never forsakes me.
He never throws smack back at me.
He never ceases to consistently, tenderly, compassionately love me.
God is like an immovable mountain, calmly weathering my every storm without being the slightest bit shaken.
In a world were even the most intimate relationships are routinely violated and frequently dissolved, where friendships and families and marriages are more often forsaken than not, God's faithfulness absolutely blows me away.
There is no one on planet Earth that I could ever offend MORE than I have offended my holy, righteous, sovereign Lord. And yet there is no one on planet Earth who loves me more faithfully.
So, I was talking to my daughter about how I have been recently so overwhelmed with this sense of God's faithfulness. And I got to thinking - this is what I am called to do, too. This is how I am called to love, too. I am His daughter, and I am supposed to be being transformed so that I look more and more each day like my Father. So that I reflect His character and His holiness. As my friend put it, I must become more and more each day "what He [God] has imagined, desired, and ordained."
This should be true of me - individually - and it should be true of the body of Christ, the church. I often ask myself, "What makes the church unique, different from any other organization or group of people?" Well, I think this kind of stalwart faithfulness is one way we are different. We don't always agree. We sin against one another. We think wrong thoughts and we say wrong words and we act wrong actions...
...and this is where the world says, "Forget it! I'm outta here," or where it stomps off into a corner to sulk and nurse its wounded pride...
(but we are not the world)
...and through all the joy and tears and comfort and offense and the mess of living in close relationship, when the storms pass and the sky clears, we - the church - open our eyes and look around and find that...
...we are STILL RIGHT HERE.
Because we are God's,
And God is faithful.
2 days ago