She stands in front and speaks to all of us who are there, and I can’t stop crying. At least it’s quiet bawling; the type where you can hide your runny nose and wipe your stream of tears with your sleeves. I’m overwhelmed by what she is sharing.
Her reason for sharing?
To give glory to God for a healing work in her life. A life marred early on by rejection, by pain, by the sinful actions of others who should have cared, should have loved her, should have protected her from pain, not inflicted it.
She was unable to receive, or understand the love of God for her because of everything she had experienced. Abandonment, rejection, shame were her companions. God was but a distant being, not at all interested in her.
She came to faith in Jesus, but she still feared God, still thought that God was out to punish her somehow until an amazing night of prayer changed that skewed perception that she had. It was a “close encounter of the God kind”.
But she was still unable to see God as a close, personal God for her. She always pictured God at a distance, never right beside her. When she prayed, He was far from her, as if at the other end of a long room.
Until this past week.
She had been praying that God would help her to see his heart for her. She sensed that she was not seeing God’s heart, the heart that others spoke of: God’s heart of unconditional, tender love. The all-encompassing, desperate, pursuing love that sent His only Son to die with all of the weight of the sin of the world upon his bruised and broken shoulders so that we might be able to approach God ourselves.
God, in His infinite mercy and love, reached down to her, when she was brought to the throne of grace through the prayers of others and spoke. right. into. her. heart.
She was able to hear God speak directly to her of his love for her. His absolute love. And some barrier or veil was removed from her eyes and she was able to see, to really see God close up for the first time.
And what did she see?
She saw the arms of God wide open towards her, and his heart of L O V E visible for the first time ever in her life.
This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favour I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ … Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Is.49:8-9, 13
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph.3:17