Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Ardently Loved

“The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.”

-- Langston Hughes

This little poem struck me deeply when I came across it the other day. All I could hear was God's voice speaking about us. And the idea stopped me in my tracks for a moment. The tangible image of His love and adoration for us, for me.

It struck me that I had forgotten. I had forgotten how great the Father's love for me was. Yes, I know He sent His Son to give His very life as ransom to save mine if I only believe ["...For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only son that whoever will believe in Him will have eternal life." (John 3:16)] Didn't we just remember His coming with our Christmas celebrations? But somehow, the knowledge of it is so constant that I... forgot to remember the extraordinary truth behind it. And what it means to our lives in the here and now.

It was this simple bit of Langston Hughes poetry that grabbed the eyes of my heart and begged them to settle here for a moment and breathe it in...

It was because He's in love with the whole wide world; 
captivated by us like a Bridegroom with His bride. 
"As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you" (Isaiah 62:5). 
"How beautiful you are, my darling. There is no flaw in you" (Song of Songs 4:1).
"...that He might present the Church to Himself a glorious bride, without spot or wrinkle or any other defect" (Ephesians 5:27).
"And I will take you as my bride for ever; truly, I will take you as my bride in righteousness and in right judging, in love and in mercies" (Hosea 2:19).
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
Webster's dictionary says that when the word "Bride" is used figuratively, it means, "an object ardently loved." Do you know how ardently loved you are? And if you did, how would it change how you believe, and how you act on what you believe? Somehow, the scriptures upon scriptures which told me so, had faded in my mind, in my experience, and I feel like my life has begun to reflect that forgetting... So, I've been asking God to teach me anew what it means to be ardently loved by the King of the Universe, and what He would have me do resting in that knowledge (because what wouldn't we do with this blink-if-an-eye-existence when we know we are ardently loved by the King overseeing it all?)... 

And suddenly, I am feeling more hope than I have in a while.

Maybe you too need to ask Him to show you again how He sees you, and how He would have you live in light of it? It's a brand new year, a fresh slate for His goodness and love to transform our hearts and lives. Let's seek His heart, running out to meet Him by our prayers....

"Behold! The Bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet Him!"
-- Matthew 25:6

 "In Him our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in His holy name. Let Your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You."
-- Psalm 33:21-22

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