Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Profound Love...

I am thankful for an abundance of, well, an abundance of upper respiratory bodily fluids???
That didn't sound exactly the way I meant it to...
But I am grateful for a minor inconvenience that has turned into something so over and above what I would have experienced without it. (For those who are seriously ill, please don't think that I'm saying illness is good or that I don't dread illness as much or more than the next person).
But this has been a light virus (which perhaps unfortunately has exhibited itself in an overabundance of written words... There are viruses... and there are viruses...)
I am a comfort-seeking creature... And this is never more true than when I am sick enough to justify being lazy but not too sick to enjoy all the attention and comforts of home...
I want chocolate, Jane Austen movies, chocolate, a warm blanket, chocolate, and a snuggly (ornery) little dog beside me in my favorite chair.
I want ice from Sonic and a legitimate excuse not to cook. And I want to enjoy napping without all the guilt and above all I want to read what I want to read - mostly murder mysteries, not to put too fine a point on it.
And so I have been reading for pleasure and it was with a bit of a sigh that I realized Sunday night that I would soon need to put the "fun" stuff aside and get back into my new Bible study - whose daily lessons were turning out to be a lot more time consuming than I expected. A LOT more time consuming....
I mean the first four daily lesssons were about 10 times longer than the whole chapter they were meant to delineate. I mean... honestly.. in answering those questions, I'm pretty sure that i wrote more than the apostle John did eons ago when he wrote the first chapter (all ten verses) of his first letter.
And yet...
And yet...
Yesterday morning I sat down with my plethora of multi-colored pens and highlighters, my Bible study notebook, and my Bible - comfy chair, blanket, and Gracie beside me. My plan was to knock out the last lesson from week 1 - I was behind - and then go on to do days 1 and 2 of this new week.
But that didn't happen because somewhere along the way, God arrested my attention and I found myself spellbound, really contemplating words I thought I knew. I managed to get through day 5 and that was all.
But it wasn't. Because now I couldn't wait until the evening when I could start on week 2, day 1. I looked forward to a quiet evening after everyone was in bed, a time when I could curl up next to the vaporizer in the spare room, snuggle down (this time with a different dog, Buddie... smile emoticon, and just let God be God. I felt an anticipation that somehow, as cheesy at it sounds, that eternity would once again light up my little cluttered room here in the 'hood.
And it did. Not in the way I expected. This time I found all my deep questions coming to the surface; I found myself pouring out all the "whys" that are part and parcel of the baggage that I subconsciously carry. But the question marks weren't punctuated by whines or self-pity - only a certainty that God had invited me (and all of us) to call unto Him, giving us His unbreakable word that if we do that, He will hear us and He will tell us things that are too great and mighty for us to discern on our own. And I fell asleep in that assurance - that He heard me and that He would reveal whatever I needed to know.
This morning I woke up with that same sense of expectancy - of meeting Him once again in a quiet house with a quiet heart. I opened my notebook which now has every ink color in the rainbow traced on every page that I've read and I knew He had something for me.
And He did.
His answer to my questions? Himself.
I read the other day that when Martha and Mary were grieving over the death of their brother Lazarus, Jesus didn't explain everything. Instead he offered Himself as the balm to their deep hurt by saying, "I am the life." (John 11:25)
At the time that I read that, it didn't make a lot of sense to me. This morning it did.
But that wasn't all...
If you are willing to set aside some time (you can always pray for a small virus...)
OOPs... Let me try that again!
If you are willing to set aside some time because you recognize a need to make a quiet space in your life for Jesus, because you need to hear from Him - then I highly recommend Kelly Minter's study guide "What Love Is".
I have loved/enjoyed just about every Bible study I have ever done. But there are only two that I would describe as profound.
And this is one of them.

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