I was drifting off to sleep one night this week doing a rather thorough inventory of where I have been lacking the past couple of weeks. Sick with a persistent stomach virus that has consumed what energy I have which triggered my FMS internal tape of “will I ever feel well” and “look at where you have come up short … again”. I haven’t been attending the class on Israel I committed to attend at church; my dreams have been jumbled and hard to recollect when I wake; “getting through the day” has been just that, with very little interaction with the people at work or with my husband at home. You get the picture.
In the midst of all this jumble, what I hear come out from my heart is “I don’t even know who I am right now”. Immediately I hear “YOU are loved.” Undone.
I had never seen this before. Until that moment I have seen being loved by God as what I am, NOT who I am. BIG difference.
Right there in the middle of my inventory of failures, my absolutely amazing Heavenly Father took a bowling ball and knocked down every pin I had set up. I didn’t even know what was behind my inventory taking … but now I see I was desperately looking for some reason to be lovable; to have worth. Now I have it.
The One who knows more about me than I know about myself (Psalm 139), says I am loved. It is why and how He has made me – to be the one that He loves; it is who I am 24/7 regardless of what I do or don’t do.
In this moment I think that is why Paul wrote with such conviction:
For I have every confidence that nothing
—not death, life, heavenly messengers,
dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers,
height, depth, nor any created thing—
can come between us and the love of God
revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 “The Voice“
As I re-read “The love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord”. I saw the culmination of thousands of years of pursuit by our Heavenly Father to remove every obstacle that stood between the expression of the truth that I am loved, you are loved. It’s who we are and why we exist – to be loved by the Eternal One whose Name is Merciful, Slow To Anger, Abounding in Loving Kindness and Truth (Exodus 34:6).
As I type, I see this beautiful flower in a garden surrounded by weeds, covered by the debris of fallen leaves and trash or perhaps frozen under the weight of winter’s snow.
Those things don’t change that the beautiful flower is a beautiful flower, however those things need to be removed in order for that flower to be seen; to grow; to thrive and to be what it is and created to be. Enter Jesus.
This so ties into a teaching I heard recently by Ian McCormack about our hearts. Rather than our hearts being pipelines given/connected to those around us so that everything that God pours into our lives is either drained or sucked out by the very thing to which we have given/connected our hearts. Instead, God wants our hearts given completely to him “You are to love Adonai, your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Matt 22:37 & Deuteronomy 6:5).
It’s all explained in Jesus first miracle. (John 2:7-11)
Jesus filled each of the water pots with wine to the brim/overflowing. He did it directly. So it is to be for us. By being who we are, loved by God, and being filled to the brim/over flowing with that love, there is no more “being drained dry” but rather “overflow love” out of our lives to our family, friends, neighbors and from their lives back to us as that overflow spreads blessing from life to life.
Can you think of a more perfect win/win? An endless supply of love to fill us beyond our capacity to hold it, so that the endless supply flows over to bless the next life. How better can I love those around me than out of the overflow of God’s love for me? Followed by telling them “here tap into this endless supply of love for yourself”. I certainly don’t have what they need, for that matter I don’t have what I need. But HE, the One whose love endures forever, does (Ps 100).
My prayer for you is for you to be who you are, LOVED beyond your capacity to contain it!