Skip to main content

Ever been surprised by love?

Have you ever been surprised by love?  When you least expected it, there you stood, face-to-face with the most selfless display of love extended not toward another, but toward you!  This week was like that.  I arrived to work one day, caught off-guard to be overtaken by a friend from the rear.  In moments, we were engaged in the friendly banter of friends, when all of a sudden, she asked the pointed question about how my Christmas would be this year.  I was so caught off-guard with the question, and the sudden release of emotion it sparked, that I just couldn't even utter a word, or I'd be "leaking" tears in no time!  Those simple words of care released a wave of emotion I had been holding back.  Now, I don't think God allowed our paths to cross by accident, for she sensed the unspoken.  In the simple return of a few moments of silence, she knew exactly what I needed - her prayers!  


But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning.  They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me.  He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!  (Psalm 18:16-19 MSG)

I think God works this way - catching us off-guard at times, but always with exactly what it is we need.  David puts it as "God reaching all the way from the sky to the sea".  It is easy to understand why he uses the illustration of God reaching from the sky as we associate with God as being in the "heavenlies".  But...why does he associate us as being in the sea?  Maybe it is because when God "reaches in" to set things right is usually when we are "drowning" in some emotional upheaval!  Simply put, God rescues us from that which seeks to consume us!

Look at the words David chooses:  "Pulled me out", "Chaos", and "the void".  These words all suggest some type of "consuming" experience.  No one needs a hand to pull them out unless they are stuck "in" something, with no sure way of getting out on their own.  These places often feel the most chaotic - completely confusing, very disorganized, and pretty all-consuming.  They almost leave you feeling like you are surrounded by a "void" of some kind - some place which only feels empty and without substance.  

David says it is God's hand which reaches down - not to pat us on the head and agree with us in our misery, but to catch us and to pull us out.  Do you see those two expressions used here?  He catches us.  When something is caught, there has been a pursuit.  David is reminding us of the assurance God is in pursuit of us!  There is a plan to intercept us in our path and to pull us to safety.  No amount of emotional "void" is without his notice - he pursues us in order to deliver us.  In taking hold of us, he secures us, bringing us close to him in the journey.

The most amazing thing is the completeness of God's pursuit.  He is not just going to rescue us - he sets us up in a place of safety.  My friend was doing that by reminding me I did not need to speak of my pain in order for her to pray me through it!  Yep, you heard me correctly - she was praying me "through" it!  David says God set him in a wide-open field.  Isn't that what God's rescue really feels like?  To be taken from what seems to constrict and bring only darkness, into a wide-open place where we are free to breathe again!  

We all experience some sense of "void" at times.  The emotional upheaval just seems to be pulling us deeper and deeper, until we feel as though we are drowning in it.  I wonder if God lets us experience a little of the "deep waters" of grief in order to help us understand and appreciate the "wide-open spaces" of his love even more?  David puts it, "He surprised me with his love!"  In the wide-open spaces, don't we often stand there, totally surprised by the delivering hand of our Master?  

Surprised by his love - I think these are words to ponder this holiday season. We may be feeling like the void will consume, drawn down some emotional path of grief because of loss or fear or just plain misery of some kind, but into that very place, God's hand is reaching.  He is gonna surprise you by his love! Nothing makes the grief, fear, or misery vanish as quickly as being surprised by his love!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…