Sunday, April 28, 2019

jessica, my weak heart, and the way God waits

They were drunk, handsome, and thought I was pretty. 

But then I remember. 
Right before that humanity's story-transforming murder, Jesus sat down at a table with His 12 friends. When He took the bread and broke it, took the wine and poured it, He gave it to them. Just like that, He offered, again, all of Himself to His friends. 

"Remember, through the rest of history, that I have given myself to humanity. Take Me, accept Me, have all of Me. Here I am, given to you, Love." 

Then He hung, completely given, to you and me. I love the Cross.

Jessica Lynn, my blonde friend with defined muscles and a massive heart, got married. 

“This has been the best day of my life,” she beamed, minutes before walking down the aisle to her waiting groom. 

My new friends at the reception kept going back to the bar and kept giving me their attention. And they were funny. And had so many nice things to say to me.

But—-I had lots of makeup on and they were drunk. 

On Monday, when they were sober and back to work, why was I still thinking about their liquor-soaked compliments? 

I'm all the way convinced; if we could feel God's pursuit of our affections, His unchanging want for our love, His real and deep (and sober) compliments--we wouldn't feel lonely, we'd stop being mean, our insecurity would get replaced with confidence, and sin would be swallowed up in His love. God help us feel Your love for us, deep down let us feel it.

God sees all of me. So much of my life has been me making mistakes, ugly selfish heart on display. There are secrets I wish I didn't have, filthy hidden that embarrass me. Makeup washed off, flawed face and flawed heart--no one has any idea how weak I am. Except One. There is One who knows...and His response? 

He waits at the end of the aisle. 

Still, even still--His eyes fixed on me, heart coveting forever covenant with me, His bare hands open to take mine into forever holy matrimony. Oh God, You still want me. 

Makeup, curls, invitations, cakes, workouts, parties, counselling, and dreaming since she was five—-preparation for this day, this coming together in promise forever moment. Jessica Lynn stood before her groom and there they gave themselves to each other, their worst and their best, exchanged in holy vows. 

Gosh she was pretty. Yeah the muscles and perfectly-pinned hair were lovely, but the prettiest was the love she floated in. She was thrilled. She knew she was walking down the aisle to a man who wanted all of her, purely and rightly. 

Doesn't God want us to be an in-love bride? Floating down the altar in love? 

Why marriage? A promise held sacred in Ethiopia and Canada and all the places in between—-why do we do it? 

God wants us to know what He’s like. We get a lot of tiny windows to see into Heaven, tastes of the indescribable sweet that’s coming soon to those who want Him. And the promised “I do” of husband and wife is one of those windows. I don't think there's a window that let's us see Him any clearer. 

"I,__, take thee,__, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you."

When we look at Him, we see a furious loving Groom who has pledged Himself to us, given Himself in full to every person who wants Him. Our marriage to Him, there is no "death do us part." There's only together. Forever. Ah. 

Why did I think about those drunk guys' compliments so much? I guess it's because being wanted is wonderful. 

People can't satisfy people. There are moments of satisfaction, but they don't, they can't, carry us. Marriage, even a blissful one, won't fulfill us. It can't. We're created for a more, a-united-to-the-Uncreated-forever more. He is the satisfaction that carries. The total giving of Himself to me, my total giving of myself to Him--it's His love-soaked design.

His Heart—-the one giraffes and cherry trees and eye sight and wheat fields and sunsets came out of—-it’s still feeling. The feelings? Want for you and me and for all 7.7 billion of us.

When I say to Him, "Let me know how much You want me," and I listen, read the Bible, and wait, He lets my little heart feel this truth. And I stop daydreaming about drunk men calling me beautiful. And I'm satisfied.

God's compliments are sober. And He's waiting at the end of the aisle. 

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
-Revelation 19:9