As we get our house ready to sell, we're "staging" - that means you try to make your house look nicer than it really is by getting the clutter off the counters and tabletops. And whew, is it nice! Why don't I live my whole life with clean counters and simple decorations? It's so calming, so freeing for some reason.
We've gone down to 1 car, no tv for Lent, minimal stuff around the house, and it feels really good .
But so much bigger than all of that is what God's been saying to me about simplifying my spiritual life....simplifying the message He wants to extend through me.....and here it is......
God loves you ridiculously.
I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago who I believe had never heard that message. To be able to share that with him, maybe for the first time, made it so clear: This is what it's all about. This is the message that's going to make my life count. This is what students/parents/classmates/neighbors/we all need to hear.
This Friday, Todd is teaching on Hosea and I think it's one of the most revealing books about who God is. God is amazing. And ridiculous. And so incredibly faithful. My reading in Captivating this morning actually referenced this in Hosea,
Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so she cannot find her way.
She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them. (Hos. 2:6-7)
Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her (Hos. 2:14)
And it hit me, that God wants to simplify my life or lead me into the desert, sometimes by crappy circumstances like not having a car, or being sick for a time, or other hardships and closed doors, SO THAT he can speak tenderly to me.
"Jesus has to thwart us too - thwart our self-redemptive plans, our controlling and our hiding, thwart the ways we are seeking to fill the ache within us. Otherwise, we would never fully turn to him for our rescue...Wherever it is we have sought life apart from him, he disrupts our plans, our way of life which is not life at all."
Thank God for his love for us!! That he would love us enough to pursue us and do whatever it takes for us to wake up and realize that we can quit hiding, quit seeking fulfillment in other things/people...Thank God that he doesn't leave me to my own plans and devices.
I would have given up on me long ago....good thing I'm not God.