Some things have changed in my life!!
We walked today (in the minus 21 degress celcius over even colder) – we talked – we laughed. We took a couple pictures to celebrate the day! Days like this – slow and lazy days of winter. Or at least I was lazy – Alvin worked in the shop painting trim for one of their renos.
Then I came back into the house – and made a pot of fresh coffee. And grabbed a good book to begin reading. I have had it for a while – and had begun to read it months ago. It is Brennan Manning’s book called “the furious longing of God”. On the back cover it is titled “A love story for the broken hearted”. I think if I can remember back that far (to when I bought it) – it was this subtitle that sold me on buying the book.
So today I picked it up again – it was one of the few books that I didn’t pack away in Rubbermaid bins which are stored in our garage. (you know, I was trying to make our house look less cluttered during the showings)
Brennan’s first chapter is titled GENESIS and talks about how this book originated, and where. It was during a 30 day silent retreat at a spiritual center. Brennan’s director was a Jesuit priest who guided him to the passage in the Song of Solomon… “I am my beloved’s and His desire is for me.” (Chapter 7:10 NASB)
My dad used to use that term when he preached, when he talked about the relationship between the Lord and us.
Brennan Manning says that over the past 30 years he has prayed that specific passage over and over and over again. He says, “I believe His (God’s) desire for you and me can best be described as a furious longing.”
This chapter talks about “the furious longing of God is beyond our wildest desires, our hope or hopelessness, our rectitude or wickedness, neither cornered by sweet talk nor gentle persuasion. The furious longing of God cannot be tamed, boxed, captivated, housebroken, or templebroken. It is simply and startlingly Jesus, the effulgence of the Father’s love.” (page 25)
He goes on to say “the seldom-stated truth is that many of us have a longing for God and an aversion to God. Some of us seek Him and flee Him at the same time. We may scrupulously observe the Ten Commandments and rarely miss church on a Sunday morning, but a love affair with Jesus is just not our cup of tea.” (hmm, this smacks of legalism instead of freedom!)
A love affair. I know what it is like to have a love affair with my man, my husband of 31 plus years. The one that I fell in love with 35 years ago when I saw him at the age of 16 and began “going steady.” What a gift Alvin is to me, from God. I am so thankful.
A love affair with God – now that is what I am learning about more and more with each day. I gave my life to Jesus when I was just 8 years old (January 1966). I remember the night like it was yesterday. However, I can honestly say that it has only been in the last few years that I have truly fallen deeper and deeper and deeper in love with Jesus – the Lover of my soul – the redeemer of my life! Jesus – the Father – and the Holy Spirit… oh where would my life be without being in relationship with the Trinity?
Thing is – when life was relatively simple – and I had “the world by the tail” so to speak – I thought things were good, but looking back, I did not live for the Lord to my fullest potential. Only He knew that it would take some hard stuff to bring me into an understanding of what it was really like to enter into this love affair that sustained me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Through the highs and the lows. Through the darkness and through the light.
I remember back in the late 90’s – I was really asking God what it meant to truly “fall in love with him.” He gave me a dream, that I believe was what He needed to use to show me his love. It was a dream about a man who came to find me. He came to the door, and asked if I was there, and he was let in. He came to find me, and wrapped his arms around me, and whisked me off my feet and carried me away. In my dream I was startled and felt completely loved (like I did in real life by my husband, and yet even fuller it seemed). This man (who was absolutely breathtaking, although I could not describe him to you if you paid me) was telling me how much he loved me, and I was laughing and saying “But you don’t know anything about me” and He kept telling me “Oh but I do – I know everything.” For the most part – this was the dream.
I remember waking up wondering why I was a married woman, dreaming of a prince charming (when I had one lying beside me in bed). It was then that I was struck with the reality that I had been asking the Lord, had also journalled, that I wanted to fall more and more in love with the Lord, and that I wanted to understand how to love him even more. This is why I firmly believe this dream had nothing to do with any earthly thing – but had everything to do with falling in love with Jesus and experiencing the “furious longing of God” as Manning puts it.
Ah, how utterly sweet his love is. His furious longing – for me! (and you!)
So, today – I am so thankful. Lord – thank you for the gift of my husband to me – back 35 years ago!! Alvin is one of the most amazing men I know – and an amazing father to Josh, Ash, Leah and Michael. He is also an amazing Poppa!! He can hardly wait to spoil this little Grandbaby that is soon to arrive in our lives!
Lord – I am also so thankful for YOUR love – for the way you wrap me in your grace and mercy. For the power of the Holy Spirit within me – and for the relationship that I can have – with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I am so utterly in love and LOVED!
Thank you Lord, that I hear your whisper… that I feel your embrace…that I will one day dance the most beautiful dance in your arms!
I end with the same scripture that Manning leaves us with in the first chapter of his book:
Song of Solomon 2:10-13 (New Living Translation)
10 My lover said to me,
“Rise up, my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!
11 Look, the winter is past,
and the rains are over and gone.
12 The flowers are springing up,
the season of singing birds[a] has come,
and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,
and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!”