“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen in not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it”. Romans 8:24-25
It is the deafening sound of the silence of God’s love that causes me the most grief. God, knowing Himself to be The Man of His Word, is certain of Himself and finds no need to respond to my incessant demands. He has already promised His everlasting love, already evidenced His love by the Gift of His Son, already set the precedent for a healthy relationship with Him by this same Son; and already assured prime personal real estate in His Perfect Place. He really does not have anything else to say.
And that’s the rub. My empty heart, of the loved starved, dreamless little girl I was, seeks evidence – if you hear me Lord, prove it, prove it now and prove it in the way I dictate. He does not, and He cannot. His never changing Word is all He has to offer.
What He did do was teach me to forgive, teach me to like myself, teach me to enjoy this fascinating earth and teach me to open up to people. He led me from my gray, self- parenting childhood through the use of books, people and imagination. He led me to explore beyond my home environment and to experience a richer more interesting life. He gave me a zany, irreverent, creative personality that can quickly see the bottom line. He gave me the ability to work hard and the ability to walk miles and even jog a bit at age 62. His proof is marching on.
He made me see that people think highly of me and see potential that I just do not possess. It’s Him. The major blunders in my life have been overcome without catastrophe. Beyond that He gives me enjoyment and appreciation for His works.
Being of limited financial resources, but with a love for the beach, God has given me access to beach vacations several times a year at no cost. Not just through one set of people but through several. One a Kentucky born, gay man stated that I “deserve nice things” and offered me open-ended use of his beach property. It’s God proving to me that He provides in the way He chooses. Not a year goes by that I am not at the beach. Small thing to God; proof to me.
My demon was indifference. It cost too much to care, and was just easier to throw myself into work. God has taught me to open my heart to life. He has led me to scriptures designed especially for me, particularly Matthew 6: 19-34, Psalms 27 and the text in Romans printed above. He has led me to look forward to daily quiet time with Him, to writing my intimate thoughts to Him. He has sent me a few people who “get” me, and also the discovery that I only need a few.
It was not without effort. Purging and pruning, especially to hard, resistant wood, is hard work. But Everlasting Love does not quit. He is not intimidated by my refusals, not prone to inappropriate compassion when I begin to sweat or bleed, and does not grow weary or tired just because I do. His staying power is proof of the depth of His eternal love for me. I gave up on myself long ago; but then, that is just where God could begin to do His Work.
It was at a camp meeting that I met my friend who introduced me to the cycle of dysfunction that finally explained my childhood and why I was the way I was – tense, angry, indifferent, going through the motions of religion with no real intimacy with Abba Father. God got me where He needed me to be, and has been teaching me and revealing His character of love to me ever since.
He has properly fathered and mothered me and I have been born again as His child. Although I still have my firecracker tongue, I am no longer prone to anger. In fact, the slang use of “whatever” must have been coined just for my use!
The security is immeasurable, even when the evidence looks contrary. On my worse day, I really know that He has my best plan already in place. So submission, even as I don’t see it or even understand it, becomes my mode.
God’s infinite heart and history of love is enough. He has already proven and documented it. His Heart and mine beat with His love, and these Words sustain me until we can talk face –to- face: “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3.