This post has been written for Bonnie Gray’s #OneWordLent prompt response to the Scripture:
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
The past two weeks my heart has been heavy. I have been witnessing the impact of circumstances and past events both on two people I love so very much and myself. My heart has been overcome with sorrow at what has been and is being stolen from us.
When I read Bonnie’s prompt, like last week, I felt too overcome to respond. And yet, in reading yesterday’s Scripture prompt, my heart yearned to take hold of its promised hope: “all things” it says. When you go back to the origin of this English translation, you find the expression “the whole” (Strong’s Concordance). It reminds me of God calling us to love Him with all our mind (psychological), body (physical) and soul (spiritual): our whole being.
I’ve been writing a series on receiving God’s Love, being prompted to do so in my attempt to learn how to love others. What I’m realizing more and more, is that in order to give God’s Love to others, we must first receive it. His actions of love flow out of us, as we receive His actions of Love in our own lives. For we love because Christ first loved us.
So, if I want to love Him and others with my “whole” being, I must learn to let His “whole” Love into each and every crevice of my “whole” being:
- Will I receive the truth friends have been speaking into my heart: my need to turn toward the grief of this season and lay it at my Heavenly Father’s feet?
- Will I receive the protection of His spoken Word, calling me to withdraw to a quiet place to rest in His Presence?
- Will I embrace the kindness of His pursuit in the handwritten notes of a friend washing me in His Love and Hope?
- Will I accept His Love that keeps no record of wrongs and receive His grace for the moments I’ve been impatient and unkind to my children?
- Will I accept the Hope poured out in worship songs and Scriptures spoken into me that tell me that God is a God who restores and redeems all that seems forever lost?
- Will I receive the protection of His powerful Word and take captive the destructive thoughts that oppress and bend them to His will?
- Will I accept His patience for all humanity, myself included, as He waits for us to receive His Love fully, so that He might make all things beautiful in His Time?
- Will I receive His yearning to be a servant through me, to use the pain within me to minister to His hurting children?
I feel broken and overcome, as I behold broken and overcome souls. But my Father is a Father of wholeness and power: a Father who makes “the whole” of us new again, for He HAS overcome the grave. All I have to do is let Him in: behold His face with outstretched arms.
Father God, thank you that you take us as we are. Thank you, that you do not expect us to be strong for ourselves or others. Thank you, that we can come to you feeling broken and overcome, and that you can fill us with your healing wholeness and power, so that we in turn can let this wholeness and power flow out of us. Help us, LORD, to keep turning toward you, to keep beholding your beautiful face with outstretched arms to receive your amazing love and grace. Lord, help us to live and move and have our being in you, so that you can continue to make us and those you place on our path, whole again.
Jeremiah 31: 2 – 6 (MSG)
This is the way God put it:
“They found grace out in the desert,
these people who survived the killing.
Israel, out looking for a place to rest,
met God out looking for them!”
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again,
dear virgin Israel.
You’ll resume your singing,
grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.
You’ll go back to your old work of planting vineyards
on the Samaritan hillsides,
And sit back and enjoy the fruit—
oh, how you’ll enjoy those harvests!
The time’s coming when watchmen will call out
from the hilltops of Ephraim:
‘On your feet! Let’s go to Zion,
go to meet our God!’”