This was a hard blog to write. I am not sure why. Maybe I didn’t think it would be well received. Maybe it was hard to find the words to say. Maybe there was a part of me that just didn’t want to write about this. I procrastinated, and procrastinated, and considered just sharing an old blog (Mike would call that a cop out. True). So here I am, typing away and praying that God will give me words to write, because I don’t even know what is about to come out… Okay so here we go!
Bella was the dog who was attached to my hip. She was what many would call “needy”. I believe it was because we took her from her mom too early (at 6 weeks opposed to the normal 8). Regardless she loved being near, and she hated when I would leave for work. Because she would sometimes get into trouble if I left her out , I would put her in the kitchen when I would leave. Not only did she hate me leaving, she hated being put in the kitchen. I would have to search the house sometimes to find her, because she would hide. I remember saying to her once I know you don’t like this and think I am taking away your fun (I mean who doesn’t think eating the couch is fun?), but this is because I love you and I don’t want you to get in trouble. It’s funny that she would run and hide when she knew that I was about to put her in the kitchen, and she would also turn from me in shame after she had done something she knew was wrong.
How often have you felt like that towards God? Afraid to know what He would say if you gave Him the chance? Afraid that He would take your fun away? Have you ever done something that you knew was wrong but did anyway because it was fun and I mean who are you hurting anyway, it’s no big deal right? Have you turned away in shame and guilt? Have you turned away from God because how could He ever love you now? How could you ever be worthy of God’s affection, when you feel so dirty? Have you felt that you are too far to come running back to this loving God? How come God didn’t tell me the guilt would feel like this? How come God didn’t tell me that the way I am living doesn’t feel very free? How could I ever be in this place? Why didn’t you tell me God? Why didn’t you warn me of this prison that I feel that I am in? If I only knew where this would lead…
The truth is that He did tell us. The beautiful thing about God is that He didn’t have to tell us. He could have left us to figure this all out on our own. But He is good, and He didn’t. He sent His son Jesus to show us who He is, and He gave us His word, the Bible (more on that in a second). If you were to read the Gospel’s you would get a small glimpse of the heart of God, through the life of Jesus. You would see that in Jesus there is no condemnation. He knows all, but in His eyes there is no judgement. There is love. I read recently that when Jesus prayed to God, He all but once referred to Him as “Father”. This term of affection was important because most people in that time thought of God as distance, maybe how you feel? So Jesus always referring to God as “Father” was showing the character of God. That He is near, He is relational, and He is reachable!
And He gave us His word, the Bible. The sacred book that starts out with God forming the heavens and the earth, His creation, through the fall of man and the birth of shame, through the birth and death and resurrection of His son Jesus, and through His glorious plan for those who love Him. It includes His design for how to live a life of true freedom, and reveals who He is.
Today in a small village in Uganda called Bundibuygo, the people will receive the New Testament written for the first time in their language. I am not sure about you, but I can only imagine the joy, and tears that will flow as this people group will have the written Word of God in their hands for the first time! They have been celebrating all week, in anticipation of receiving this. I feel slightly guilty that many times I don’t view God’s word for the treasure it is. I have His word at my fingertips, and there are times that I have let it sit there. His love, the revelation of who He is…
A few weeks ago I was lead to read Isaiah 6: 1-6
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King,the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
I love this description of God, how Isaiah is so blown away by His glory. When he encounters God, he is changed forever, willing to do whatever God asks just because his eyes have seen. It is easy to say “If I only knew…” But the truth is, that if we really knew who God was, THAT is what leads to the freedom and love that He gives. Take time right now to pray that as you open your Bible this week, that you will see it with fresh eyes, and that you will begin to hold it in your heart as the true gift that His love truly is.