I have not written here [or anywhere not related to school] in quite some time. When we last left off – ironically – I was writing about praise predators, things that will derail our Endless Praise. And, wouldn’t you know? I got completely derailed by life, working 55-60 hours per week, continuing my college studies and taking care of my mom four-days a week. Then illness struck … three times! I do not say that to garner sympathy but to emphasize that sometimes life just happens. However, the important thing to keep in mind is to pick right back up where you left off and … keep moving forward. The endless praise remains … even in the midst of the trials … even when we feel unworthy and worn out.
He is worthy of praise … His love is praiseworthy!
Several weeks ago, I heard a song which captivated me and had me in tears. It was the song Reckless Love by Bethel. It is a powerful song about the amazing and endless love that God has for each one of us. And, its lyrics reminded me of His relentless pursuit of me …
“Before I spoke a word … You were speaking over meYou have been so, so good to me …Before I took a breath … You breathed Your life in meYou have been so, so kind to me …Ohhh … the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of GodOh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.I couldn’t earn it …And, I don’t deserve it …Still You give Yourself awayOh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God”
Simply amazing lyrics!!!
Yet, that is not what had me in tears.
As I struggled to make sense of some of the situations I was experiencing and crying out to God, wondering where He was in the midst of my situations – I was reminded, through this song, that my focus was all wrong.
Self-focused and self-absorbed, I had reached a point where I failed to continue to see His reckless love as something truly marvelous, something to observe and to stand in awe and wonder. The song goes on to state:
“There’s no shadow You won’t light upMountain You won’t climb up … coming after meThere’s no wall You won’t kick downLie You won’t tear down … coming after me”
It is that love … that amazing and unyielding love which He has for all of creation. And, while there are ample situations which I have brought upon myself, there are some that have occurred as a side effect of living life – of being human … in a fallen world. And as I wrestled to understand why the Father would let me endure those situations, I was reminded that He will allow those who have been reconciled to Him already to endure whatever it takes to bring that one home to Him. The same way He allowed His own Son Jesus Christ to endure the unthinkable as He shone His light into the darkness of all time … ascended the mountain of Calvary, suffered and died on the cross, kicked down the walls of death, hell and the grave … and came after me … and you … after that family member … after that neighbor … after that criminal … after that spouse … after that ex-spouse … after that boss, that co-worker, that friend, that enemy. And the most amazing part of that truth is the reality that He did it for each and every one of us without condition. That amazing song by Bethel continues …
"While I was Your foe, You love fought for meYou have been so, so good to me …When I felt no worth, You paid it all for meYou have been so, so kind to me …"
You see, He did not wait until I was in a place of wholeness – for I could never be whole or complete without Him.
He did not base His love for and His pursuit of me upon my goodness – for I could never be good enough.
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
No, before I ever made a decision to follow Him – He gave His all for me without expectation of anything in return.
Because love, true love, does not make demands of others that it be reciprocated.
True love only makes demands of itself that it be communicated and demonstrated.
God demonstrated His love in His giving … Christ demonstrated His love in His dying
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16)
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)
God, in all His goodness, reminded me –
Through this song and through so many other ways in these past few months –
This is how He loves me and how He desires me to love others.
And that right there … that is praiseworthy!
Have a Blessed Evening Friends!