Friday, August 6, 2010


Maybe you’ve seen it in the aisle at the grocery store, or in the hallway at church: An angry parent grabbing a disobedient child by his arm and yanking him to the side, getting really close to his face as she disciplines in a low growl. The child is either looking over to the side (which warrants a minute shake from the parent to get his attention) or his face is beginning to contort into an upset, pre-sound cry. I’ve seen it. In fact, this past week I wanted to be that parent. I had so many disobedient 4-year-olds that I want to grab them by the arms, yank them to the side, shake them up, and growl at them to listen to me. Stop disobeying me. You little annoying child.

I realized recently that that’s how I’ve been viewing God. I incessantly choose other things over Him. People. Movies. Books. The outdoors. The internet. And I unknowingly have avoided His Word because I was pretty sure the moment I sat down to it He would grab me by the arms, pull me to the side, and, facing me at eye-level, discipline me. I avoided His Word because I was just not ready to go through the rigmarole yet. As soon as I was prepared to look off to the side as God gave me the lecture of my disobedience, I would come back to Him. I wanted our relationship to be like it once had, but I didn’t want to go through the lecture in order to get the relationship back. And so I have avoided Him entirely.

But this summer I realized that God doesn’t want me back through discipline. The way He wants to restore our relationship is not through telling me how I’ve disobeyed Him. He wants to restore our relationship through wooing me, pursuing me, and alluring me.

This is a foreign concept to me. Most of the past few years I have spent trying to prove to others I am worthy to be loved. Most of my relationships I spend pursuing. Hey. Hey you over there. I’m funny. I’m pretty. I’m talented. See? I’m worth it.

And that’s probably why it’s so hard for me to accept that God wants to do the pursuing. He wants me. He says, “Hey. Hey you over there. See me? I love you. You’re beautiful. I want you. You’re worth it.” In sunsets, in mountains, in rivers, in raindrops, and in His love letters to us, He says,

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3) Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:4) I demonstrate my own love for you in this: Long before you were beautiful, I sent Jesus to die for you. (Romans 5:8) Because I want you back.”

Our response:

O my God, because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. (Psalm 63:3)


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