Yesterday evening I dressed up for date night and greatly anticipated my man coming home, for us to head out to a quick bite and then the concert. All was so wonderful as I listened to the music, took in the sights and enjoyed all that was. Then they left the stage and the crowd started up for an encore. I really don’t get that process, but anyway, on they came again and he said it was time to go gospel. All the while giving a disclaimer to not being “religious” and in fact how God scared him. This sat with me as I listened to lyrics of truth being sung with many swaying to the music without a clue at the depth of meaning.
God is indeed Lord, Creator and Redeemer. The sad reality of ALL these truths is that people hear snippets of truth, sometimes correctly spoken and other times flawed. Then in their own broken hearts they strive to fill in the gaps. But this is tainted by how people have treated them, how life has put it’s knocks into them and so much more. What they are left with is a very unfulfilling picture of just who God is and what it can look like to know Him and do life with Him in the now and for eternity. I get it!
I was a christian from 1984 to 2011 before the pieces of the puzzle started coming together. Sure I had grown up in a family where we went to church each week, my dad was even a missionary and pastor. And crazily enough I was even a youth intern in my late teens and early twenties. From the outside and to be honest from my take, I was in the know on the Word of God and Who He was and how that translated to my life.
It wasn’t until I starting going to BSF in 2011 and we studied the book of Isaiah that my picture of God and His character started to be filled out and come into focus. I also realised how biblically starved I was too. Each year I’ve been in BSF since, the layers have been stacking up. Best of all was in 2014 with the study of the book of Matthew, I finally grasped and accepted the unconditional love of God for ME! That turned my world upside down in the best way ever.
Untruths that I’d gleaned in various ways growing up came tumbling down. God was not distant, uncaring, impersonal and He certainly hadn’t abandoned me or quit on me. God does not love like others. It is pure, unconditional and forever (that being said, nor does He love like we expect, and even that can cause us heartache till we know that). God does not quit on you like others. His pursuit of you is constant and oh so very deep and personal.
It is only when we take away the layers of untruth gleaned and replace it with truth from the bible that we begin to see just how magnificent God is. He is not one to be scared of, rather the one to run to for safety. As we begin to fill in the gaps we see just how deeply personal God is to each of us, that we are blown away and changed.
Today, if you are believing that God will quit on you, that you aren’t loved even by God, that He is mean and distant then can I please encourage you that I do get it. I have been in that place. But I have also experienced the joy since 2011 till now, and continuing on ahead, of just what can unfold when you take a step towards God and the bible to find out for YOURSELF what is truth and reality.
God will NEVER quit on you! He will never stop loving and pursuing you. He will never stop unfolding what is for you. No matter what thoughts you have about God or yourself it won’t ever make Him keep His distance. No matter what you do or don’t do, God will never quit on you and what He has set before you! It is not in His character and ways to do that.
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”
Romans 8:31-32 – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who an ever be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?
Now I’m the first to admit that can be hard to digest when your heart has been stomped on by people you trusted. It can be hard to accept when life has dealt you a rough hand time and time again. How can this be true when….but I can assure you that as you step towards God and allow the gaps to be filled in things will make sense, you will be able to digest, and then accept and before long you will begin to see the stomps and rough hands somewhat differently. You will begin to see the true character of God and how that fits into this life of yours.
My hope for you today is that you will be willing to take one step and see what follows, no matter what space you are in or where on the journey with God you are at! For until that day we see Him face to face there will always be truth to glean, knocks to unpack and growth to be had. Please don’t limit yourself from all that is for you!