“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me” (Ps. 139:1 NLT).
God sees each one of us at our very core, for better or for worse, and seeing all, he holds out his hand, offering forgiveness, restoration, and relationship. Drawing us toward himself, longing for us, his desire is to take all of the nonsensical tragedies, mistakes, and minutiae and use them for good in our lives. He is a God of compassion. This is an astounding truth.
These facts about God have changed my life. Before I dug into his Word and learned who he is, I was buried in despair. My arrogant heart, my judgmental pride, my numerous mistakes, and my pile of tragedies propelled me into a fist-shaking fight with God, who seemed far away, judgmental, and angry. I imagined God to be something he is not.
I didn’t know him.
But he knew me, and he kept up the pursuit.
When God the Holy Spirit woos and pursues, we are won. How he does it is uniquely individual and gently transformative. The Lord God is a lover. He knows how to attract.
Because of everything I’d been through, I had to dig into the deep stuff first. I had to ask why. I had to tackle the issue of God’s identity. I had to pore over scripture to see who God is. What I saw struck me with awe! His very person is what drew me into his arms.
How can God be so kind and large and loving that he can take all my messes and all my circumstances and use it for good in my life? This question can’t be answered. It’s impossible to comprehend, because it involves the free will of others who have harmed me and my loved ones, the conditions of weather and caving foundations and moving cars, life-flight and death and cancer, and my own stupid and harmful decisions.
But yet, he does exactly this for each one who loves him. In the process, he transforms us into the type of people we always hoped we could be—people more like Jesus, changing us into ourselves, the ones he designed and thought of before he began it all. Then, he gives us a heart to help others, making even more sense of what we once thought was unfathomable and wasted.
I love to be loved like this. It holds me up. No human being can love us this thoroughly. Only God can. How we need him for getting through this life!
And then, after calling us to his side, loving us, and enabling us to be our better selves, at the end of it all, he praises us. We get the “Well done!” Us! As if we had anything to do with the good things we do or the kindnesses we perform. It’s all him.
The thought of him praising me for being the person he made me to be knocks me to my knees. Seeing the sins, transforming the wounds, fixing the messes, and purifying the hearts—that’s his work. Yet he offers praise, honor, and glory to us. What a God!
In what ways has his love moved you and drawn you to him?
These Images: FreeDigitalPhotos.net