Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Walking, Crawling, Running---Just Keep Moving

In the chorus discussed in yesterday's In Other Words, the question is asked "will the love continue if my walk becomes a crawl?" I think that is another of those fears that we all struggle with at some point or another. Somehow we get it into our heads that God's love is dependent upon how much we are doing. We think that if we are struggling then God must be ready to abandon us.

But nothing could be further from the truth. God's love for us is based totally on his character and not on anything that we accomplish.

He loved us before we ever took our first breath.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
~Psalm 139:15-16~

He loved us enough to teach us to walk and to rescue us.
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love;
I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
~Hosea 11:3-4~

He loved us while we were still unrepentant sinners.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
~Romans 5:7-8~

He loves us when we are selfish children who are off doing our own thing.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
~Luke 15:20~

He loves us. Period. Full stop. No questions needed.

Certainly, he delights when are actively consciously seeking to serve Him. He calls for us to daily follow him and he wants us to grow in our daily walk with him. But he does not measure how fast that walk is. He does not say, "we made it 3 miles today but you went 6 yesterday so you better pick up the pace." Nor does he admonish us for making great strides. He simply wants the relationship to keep moving.

Relationships ebb and flow. There are times in our marriages or with our kids or with friends that we feel like we are sailing along, learning so much about each other and truly enjoying every aspect of the relationship. Then there are the times that it is really hard work--where communicating is difficult, when grace doesn't flow and when we honestly believe walking away would be best. But when we slog through those rough times we find on the other side the relationship is deeper and sweeter. It has added a layer of foundation that only comes through those experiences.

So it is with our Christian walk. There are times that we are practically running in our relationship with Jesus. We have lots of time to study our Bible, prayer is coming easy and the blessings are abundant. Then there are times that the pace is less frantic and more comfortable. It is still stretching us to grow and there is plenty of prayer and study but at a tempered rate. But then there are the times that it appears to be a hard slog. We just can't hear God as clearly because of pain or busyness or because he is simply asking us to wait. Our prayers may seem to fall on deaf ears. We may struggle just to read a verse or two. In those times, crawling may sound like a dream. We are just persevering. But somehow we keep moving, albeit at a snail's pace.

The good news is that all of those times are absolutely God ordained. He loves to run with us. He rejoices in the daily walk with him. But when he sees us crawling through the time of struggle just to stay with him, his heart delights. It brings him joy to see us not allow the difficulties of the world take away our desire to move with him. And he brings us rest when we persevere with him in the times he is refining us.

This is what the LORD says: "The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert; I will come to give rest to Israel."
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."
~Jeremiah 31:2-3~

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
~Matthew 11:28~

Does the love stop when we are crawling? Not at all. In fact, I find that is when he is pouring even more love into me to refresh and restore a weary soul. How amazing is that love!

He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
~Zephaniah 3:17b~

Whether you are running, walking or crawling I hope today you can rest in the love of Jesus. And if you are stuck in circumstances and feel you can't move as fast as you should, please remember that he desires for us to move with him and he will do the refreshing. Bless you all!

1 comment:

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