Surprised by Love

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADuring the last few months I’ve been mysteriously blessed at unpredictable times. Suddenly, I would find myself overwhelmed by a sense of God’s love. These occurrences could not be traced to anything I had done devotionally. They were not because I had been more faithful than usual in prayer or studying the Word. Quite the contrary. Without warning, I would feel tears rise behind my eyes at the thought of God’s tender love.

Could it be due to physical vulnerability? This has certainly been a stressful time of stumbling around with a cane and then undergoing radical knee replacement surgery. In the aftermath of the surgery I’ve had to deal with pain and dark nights of sleeplessness. This whole experience has curtailed my rather organized devotions: reading an Old Testament passage and a New Testament passage then going through a prayer list.

I’ve begun to wonder if my devotional life has been too regimented, not spontaneous enough. I think that is part of it. God just wants to show me he loves me whether or not I’m able to complete my quiet time. Even when my Mini-daffodilsdiscipline crumbles leaving mere fragments of good intentions, he wants to assure me of his love.

This feeling could sweep over me due to the stanza of a hymn. Love divine, all love excelling. Joy of heaven brought down to earth. Or Meekness and majesty…this is your God…bow down in worship.

It could be sparked by rays of sunshine pouring in the window after days of gloom. God, the creator, loves to pour sunshine into our souls as wGoldfinch at Feederell as through our windows. He is a good and giving God.

It could be a bird on the feeder. The dazzling yellow plumage of a goldfinch set against the rather depressing brown of early spring in all the surrounding trees and flower beds.

It could be a touch from Mary Helen. Who am I to have been led to such a faithful helpmate!

Whatever the cause, I’m grateful to God for reminding me that he loves me not for anything in me or anything I’ve done. So often we feel that we must earn God’s affection. In reality, “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”(Rom. 8:35,39). (Read this whole wonderful chapter in Romans.)

As a mother or father loves their child, so our Father loves us, not because of anything in us, but because through his redeeming work we have become his children. I’m sure I need to be reminded much more often that God’s love is tender, faithful, constant. And I’m sure that my expressions of love for him need to be more spontaneous. Such whispers from God are not frequent nor can they be programmed. But they are wonderful gifts of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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2 responses to “Surprised by Love

  1. Eric, your article reminded me of Ephesians 3:17-19. Oh, that we might know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge!

    Thank you.

  2. Good connection Jon to this important prayer of Paul. Clearly, Paul took knowing God’s love very seriously. It doesn’t just come from study.

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