Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God is love. And other overwhelming characteristics

Let us love like we were children

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed when I think about God. My life has been a series of MY plans failing and HIM showing me a better way. Especially in this season of my life, I have been extremely aware of the love and other characteristics of God. I don't know why it shocks me though. God IS love, after all. It is impossible for me to think about God without thinking about love; without examining the way He's shown his love in my life. I tried to make a list of the qualities of God that overwhelm me as I try to grasp them. Here's what I came up with:

This is the first word that comes to mind when I think about God. There are so many instances in my life where I should have taken a different turn than I did; so many instances where I wanted to go one way, but God intervened and turned me in the right direction. His provision in my life has saved me, time and time again. There is no reason I should be where I am today; no reason except his provision. Even when I don't want to go, even if there were times when I wanted to take the wrong path, just out of my selfish, sinful human nature, God did not allow me to go down the wrong path for long. He looks out for me, even when I don't want to look out for myself.

The definition of magnitude is: The great size or extent of something. I wish I had a bigger word, but I don't. The magnitude, the great size and extent, of God's overwhelming power and abundance is mind-boggling. I cannot allow myself to think about his magnitude for too long because it is such an emotional process. My life is a 23 year testimony to the incredible magnitude of God's unending strength, love, and forgiveness. The way He has blanketed himself over my whole entire life, saving me and protecting me time and time again... it brings tears to my eyes. My human mind cannot comprehend love so grand, so strong, so... so... magnificent. My own selfishness is not even enough to keep me from Him. My own desire for the world is not enough to keep me from His righteousness. His magnitude is infinite.

My heart breaks at all the wrong decisions I've made in my 23 years. It aches at all the times my life should have ended as I knew it; at all the times it should have taken a drastic turn because of a selfish decision I made. God is so merciful though, even at times when I didn't WANT to receive that mercy. He loves me too much for his plan to be thwarted by my own desires, so He extends mercy. Mercy is never deserved. What I deserve is a cross, but what God gives me is mercy. Countless times God has stopped and saved me from myself. Countless times His mercy has extended beyond my own understanding. I am nothing without His mercy.

One of my favorite things about God (is it possible to have a favorite thing about God?) is that he doesn't just LOVE us, but he LIKES us too. God wants us to be joyous and content. He wants our desires to be His. I think too often we hear about the fear and respect of God, and not that he likes us, too. God doesn't need me. There is no purpose for me in God's....life (for lack of a better word) than to bring Him glory, but he LIKES me, he loves me, and therefore extends GRACE to me. This concept is hard for me to grasp. It's like grace is something He's given me, so that He can continue to enjoy me in His presence. Without His grace, I would be empty, but God LIKES me. He doesn't want me to be empty. He's extended not only His undeserved mercy, but also His undeserved grace, so that I can walk in His way.

God has been faithful to me when I was not faithful to Him. When I was so far from Him, when I was so far from who He wanted me to be, God was faithful. He has been faithful despite my own desires and plans. He has been faithful in his mercy; never wavering in forgiveness. He has been faithful in grace; never wavering in love. He has been faithful in provision; always providing for me, even when I did not know what He was doing, or that He was even doing something. His faithfulness is an immovable mixture of His whole being.

God is love. Without Him, we cannot understand love. We cannot give love. We cannot receive love. The saddest thing to me though, is that without God, people cannot grasp how MUCH they need Him; how dead they are without Him. We need to be living testimonies of what God can do, does do, is doing. We need to share His message and love as He has called us to love; as only we who know Him CAN love.

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