“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” NIV
God, How Do I Abide in Your Love?
Dwelling in love as a place
Will a feeling rise
Am I to wait
Are you commanding me to feel loved
In the way you command me to trust in you
God, I met you when I was four. I rejected you even though you flooded me with love and raised my spirit up to life because I thought your love was temporary. How can I go back? You said I can always call on you and you’ll be there, but how do I ask you to love me, still? How do I look at our relationship with joy?
God, you smiled on me. And now I’m grieving because I left. Do you love me that much, still? I’m embarrassed for leaving. I’m intimidated by your love you showed me, it was so much. It changed me. It will change me, again, won’t it?
I’m too scared, simply, to live a life based on the memory relived with fondness, nostalgic about an idea of being loved that’s so steeped in disappointment that I have only have a faint hope in the possibility of your love for other people. My body would continue, so long as I continued to accepted food. But my eyes won’t want to open, weighted down by deep fatigue.
Instead, let your love for me shape my reality.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” NIV
I was reminded of a dream I had years ago. I believe I’m living through that prophecy, now. By remembering it, I felt assured that my utter exhaustion is not a failure but part of the timing of things. And I felt assured that not only will everything be okay, but everything is going to be mended around me while I sit, waiting to be replenished by God’s peace in the air that I breathe. I feel like I have been given this scripture as a promise. I can hear the rest in this scripture. I can feel the deep life-giving restoration of strength that comes from knowing I am rooted in life because of God’s favor toward me. I can imagine drinking in the love of God from the roots. And with every draw through the roots, I will gain assurance of my eternal place in him, no matter where I journey to, even while I sit, too tired to move.
While I’m tired, I worry about the heat and the cold, the things that could rob me of my peace and prevent joy from growing at the root. But in this scripture, I can’t hear the command to make myself a better version of myself, instead I hear a promise that is a direct result of God’s work: my reward by his effort, I receive while I breathe. And once I have drunk my full of him, then I will have what is promised. I will have confidence that will protect from severe weather, no matter the condition.
When God says, “Always,” he means it.
This scripture takes my eyes off what I see, my fears and my lack. This scripture lifts my chin to look up at God, seated on the throne. From there, he rules over all things to preserve life. I fear him, to be sure, but he says he is a good place to hope for safety and life freely given from an undiminishable source of life, himself.