Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Own Encounter

"Nothing can ever – no, not ever! – separate us from the Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love of God He showed us in Jesus!”

That is a remarkable sentence.  I wish I could take credit for it, but I can’t.  Paul said it first, when he was writing the book of Romans, and then Sally Lloyd-Jones paraphrased it this way in The Jesus Storybook Bible.  I was reading it to my four-year old daughter yesterday and was caught off guard when tears welled up in my eyes.  “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.”  Wow.  That is a truly amazing kind of love, a kind of love that I want to know and experience.

Speaking of experience…
My husband went with the group of guys last month to this great thing called a Men’s Encounter.  He came home excited and passionate about his relationship with God, more so than he has been in months and months.  He experienced God in a way that I will probably never fully understand.  I am thrilled that he got to go and have that kind of experience; I knew he needed it.  But I’ve got to tell you, I’m starting to get just a little jealous.  I want to have that kind of experience, too!  You know, the kind that reaches all the way to the bottom of your heart, that takes you through every emotion possible.  The kind of experience that fills you up with God’s love and leaves absolutely no room to doubt that you are God’s chosen.

A few weeks ago I helped out with a Women’s Conference at a nearby church.  I was all set to have this deep, moving experience that I have been hoping for.  But it didn’t happen.  The speaker was dry and shallow, the worship times unmoving.  And I was mad.  I told God how I needed that emotional experience, that connection, how I wanted to encounter Him and it didn’t happen! 

And when I finished throwing my tantrum, God began to gently speak to me.  He told me that I didn’t need an experience to encounter Him, and He reminded me that everything I need to know about this Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love of His is already right at my fingertips.  I just need to open His Word and read.

So I’m praying now for a hunger for His Word, a hunger that is never satisfied but always craving more.  I am praying that in the pages of this Bible I will find exactly what I need, which is a face-to-face encounter with our God and that I will experience first hand the wonder of this incredible Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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