Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Undeserved...

Is love ever deserved? Is it mandated? If love were such a thing would any of us want it? Would we want to "give it" to others?

Love to me seems to be sweetest when it is undeserved. The last few days have been a huge struggle and wrestling time with God over the idea of love and grace. I think these two are inseparable. Grace seems to me to be the idea that even though there is no way I should be loved - I AM! Though there is no worth in me or merits that I can do - I am still loved by God.

Talk about blowing the mind! I wish I could say that it is easy as just saying okay. But it seems that I have never really grasped this concept growing up. I always thought that I had to be a certain way, think a certain way, and act a certain way in order to get God to hear me. I must say that this is why I have lived the past 10 or so years in constant defeat and in shame and guilt. I have never been able to really grasp what the joy of being a christian was. Why would I want to be a Christian if I always have to do these things or if I always feel guilty and shame over who I am.(this will be covered in a whole other topic). But then - God started showing me through various means and ways this radical new idea of love undeserved.

I know that it is not a new idea or even news to some people but this will forever change me. I know that it will take time and there will be many hard days ahead BUT I have my God and His love will never fail. The fact that He knew where I was when He decided to love me. The fact that He still claims me when I fall. The fact that He sent the Holy Spirit into my life to help me out. This is the idea of grace. It is hard to describe or define grace because there is no one on earth that can exemplify what grace truly is. We have seen some examples and have experienced it from people but we all have a warped sense of grace. We always try to justify why we did something - usually if not for their sake we say we did it for ours (under the auspices of "we were doing it for the right reasons").

But there was an example - His name is Jesus. A name so sweet and far above any other name. The grace that flowed from him is the undeserved love that has burst forth in my heart anew yesterday. It didn't come from a huge epiphany that burst into me. As I have said, this is something I was struggling with for quite a while. Only in the last few weeks and days have I become desperate in my prayers for God to show me Himself. I have cried out numerous times to Him and have left many times crying. At first the tears were because I was hurting so much. It seemed as if my body was in pain because I couldn't get ahold of what God wanted to show me. But in His perfect timing, as usual, He flooded over me. It happened when I least expected it.

Last night I was reading "In the grips of Grace." A book I have been working at since January. God knew though that I would not be ready until last night to see with His eyes what He wanted me to see. The chapter was on the War within the soul. It discussed what I had been thinking of and what I had been begging God for. And it came. It finally came. That voice of the Holy Spirit that comforted me. The tears came. But now they were tears of overwhelming joy at the fact that I am who I am and that God still loved me enough to send His Son. He still loves me when I mess up and scrape my knee in the spiritual sense. But like a loving Father He picks me up on His knee and comforts me and tells me that it doesn't seem like it but it will be all right. Because I am going to be home with him soon.

As I was writing this I was listening to Shawn McDonald's song "Have you Ever." What a blessing. Every time I listen to it it brings tears to my eyes and longing in my soul. It talks about wanting to be someone else. Wanting to reach your dreams. Wanting to life to be more than it seems. - this was what I wanted. I wanted it to be more than what I had built up around me. - The answer is tasting the love so deep. So deep that it blows my mind. The sweet love of Jesus.

This is love my friends. To love, not when it is deserved, but to love because it is right.

2 Comments:

Blogger Gwen said...

thanks nathan :-)

love you friend. thanks for posting this stuff

10:47 AM  
Blogger Erin Godbey said...

Hey Nathan!
I just dicovered your blog.
I love seeing the pictures and hearing how you're doing, spiritually and otherwise. Cory and I miss you terribly, and very selfishly wish you were still in Greenville. We are planning a very short trip to Chicago sometime late winter...perhaps we could catch up with you.

Did you ever see pictures from our wedding? www.garyventura.com/coryanderin
Wish you could have been there.

Well, give us a call sometime. See ya!

8:39 AM  

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