Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st

Almost every time I share something of my personal experience of God, I receive feedback from friends and blog readers who were moved by it.

When this happens, I always think, "I will be brave, and share more."

I even think of the exact experience to share.

But even then, I do not share.

Part of the difficulty is the fact that I find it very hard to own these experiences. I think, this is so wonderful, so unexpected, so hard to believe. I don't understand why God would be like this with me.

So it's difficult for me to share them.

However, this time around, maybe I will. I've been thinking about sharing this for a long time.

I wrote this, the original draft of this blog, on December 15th:

In my reading last night, I came across a verse that read, “I will blot out your iniquities for My own sake.”
That thrilled me to no end. I had to put the book down.
"For Your own sake!" I said to Him, gleeful. "Why should this thrill me so much? I'll tell You why! Because there is no better reason! There is no other God. There is no better reason and no other name than Yours."
It just struck me, in this new way that when God does something for His own sake, He does it for the sake of redeeming, all-conquering love. We are all caught up in His purposes, which are full of redeeming love. Those plans of extraordinary love are unstoppable, because they are all for His own sake. They aren't dependent on anyone else but Himself.
Then I remembered that I was directly addressing God about Himself. Ever since childhood, I’ve always been much more comfortable addressing Jesus and rather terrified of addressing God the Father. I got nervous, all of a sudden. Who was I to be talking to the Lord God Almighty?
I shrunk back into myself. I lost my sense of joy and my glimpse into the greatness of God's love.
"I don't know why You bother with us,” I said in a small voice, nervously. “Who am I to You? We are all like grass."
As I spoke those words, I felt the warm and very familiar presence of Jesus. It was as though He came and sat down beside me on the bed and then leaned in toward me, comfortingly.
Who are you to Me? He prompted me, lovingly. I felt His prompt in my heart.
He had already taught me this lesson so many times that I knew in a moment what the answer was, and joy flooded through me.
"I'm Your daughter!" I exclaimed, joyfully. "Your very daughter!"
I felt His loving joy answer mine, then He said into my heart, lovingly- Nothing in My creation is inconsequential to Me. Everything in my creation matters to Me.
I marveled over this wonderful idea that God delights in every single part of His creation, that everything He made has beauty and value to Him, even things that are never seen by anyone else. I thought how, even when it was nothing but darkness and void, His Spirit was still over it.
Then, I began to contemplate, again, who I was to Jesus. I began to list those things, one by one. As I did this, I felt as though I were lying back in His arms.
This was a familiar sensation to me by then. I no longer tried to reject it or come to terms with it. I just accepted it. I felt so comfortable and at ease. I was delighting just in the joy of being in the arms of God.
"I am the work of Your hands, and the product of Your own thought," I said to Him, knowing that He was deeply interested, even caught up in what I was saying.
"I am Your own creation- I'm Your creature!" I declared, and waited.
As I expected, as He had done before, I felt Him check me right there. Not so, He said.
I relented. "I’m not Your creature, I'm Your daughter," I corrected.
Just so, He said. Go on, He said in my heart, encouragingly.
I knew what He wanted me to claim, but I became shy just at the thought of it.
Instead, I side tracked.
I said, "I'm Your portion, Your purchase to Yourself, Your prize. I'm redeemed to You...I’m the apple of Your eye."
Go on, He prompted, full of love.
I was caught up in a feeling of exquisite shyness. "No!" I cried. "I can't!"
He waited. I knew He waited. He was waiting with patient, deeply personal love and pleasure. It was almost His patience itself that made it impossible for me to continue silent.
The knowledge of who I am to Him grew in me. It grew so large that I had to speak it.
"I'm Your bride!" I declared, at last, feeling the wonder of it crack out from the deepest place of my heart and pour through me. "I’m Your betrothed- Your sister, Your spouse. I’m Your dove in the clefts of the rock. I'm Your precious one, hidden under the shadow of Your wings."
Your Maker is your husband, He said firmly, bringing to my mind that verse.
I remembered that verse very well- I had read it a few days before. It was another one of those verses where I just had to stop, and despite my overwhelming feelings, push the message away. It was almost as if I pushed it away simply because I wanted it so badly.
“That’s not for me,” I told myself sternly. “That’s nothing personal. That prophesy has to do with something else.”
When I had put the book down, Jesus kept bringing the verse back to my mind, over and over again. I gave up trying to avoid the reality.
I said, "Yes, yes, yes! You are my husband. I accept. So be it."
I stopped trying to hide my complete longing and incredible hunger for this; I poured it all out to Him.
And He answered it. He answered it with His own longing for me.
So, when He brought that verse back to mind, it already had a great deal of emotional history behind it.
Listing off all the things I was to Jesus was so satisfying that I did it a second time, just for the pleasure of it.