February 2022

Captured

God is good. God is kind. There are so many memories I have of His kindness to me, and I’ve often felt that these small and great gifts don’t have as much to do with His grand Kingdom purpose as they do with the reality that it is simply in His nature to be good and kind. Since I see only dimly and only in part, it is possible these loving acts toward me are part of something bigger that I cannot begin to comprehend, but as His child, I’m grateful for His tenderness and His intimate knowledge of me.

Beauty and wonder are gifts I receive from Him that bring Him near to me and open my heart to hear His voice. Whether it is the tiny ladybug on the floor in my bathroom (how it got there, I do not know), the awesome, slightly terrifying, flashes of lightning in a Summer storm, or the slow beauty of a sunrise, there is loveliness to behold, knowledge to be gained, and whispers of wisdom that reveal His captivating presence. I take the life He gave me very personally, and I’m secretly sure that He wants me to.

We are, each one, pieces of the beauty in His heart and mind. And in our authentic redeemed selves, we are representative of His own nature. The way we respond with joy in the beauty, with mercy in the conflict, with justice in the community, and with honor for that which is noble and excellent is how the world will know that we are saved by Him and belong to Him. For how could we not exhibit His love when all our being is wrapped in it?

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV). Jesus clearly states that our belief in His love and our obedience will reproduce that same love in us. He loved us first (1 John 4:19). That means love comes from who He is. It also means that we can love our neighbor because of who He is rather than who we want to be.

Stepping into the love of God is like stepping into the warmth of the Sun or breathing in the salty sea air: not only do we become wrapped in it, we also become part of it. Our longing to become part of the beauty is a divine longing. And the longing itself is evidence that God is.

Dear reader, I pray that you embrace the longing He placed inside you. Like a divine umbilical cord, it tethers you to His heartbeat and His desire for you. Let longing draw you to Him who is the source of life.

Until next week, beloved, let your whole heart be captured by the extravagant love of God.

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