Monday, June 2, 2014

Love is Overwhelming

Have you ever had someone do something super thoughtful and surprising for you? Maybe you got a huge bouquet of flowers!!!! I can't say that I have but I am sure that some of the girls reading this might be able to relate. For the guys out there, maybe your wife made you the most magnificent dinner without telling you! I mean who doesn't like surprise food? Or maybe a bunch of your friends decided to throw you a huge surprise birthday party so they packed a color wheel of streamers and balloons into your house and took your breath away with a flip of the light switch. It's small moments like that where you feel overwhelmed with love. Someone, maybe a wife or husband, a boyfriend or girlfriend, just a normal friend, a parent, a brother or sister, went out of their way to think about you and make you feel special. Think of one idea of your own where you felt overwhelmingly loved. Just pause and think. Did you get one? maybe a few? I'll show you a couple I have thought of in the last few weeks.

This flower is ablaze with color and intricacy and life! Raindrops just watered it and nurtured it for the day which is an amazing feat in itself! Its as if every different flower was made straight from the creativity of God. Hibiscus, Lilies, Carnations, Roses, and each one in a myriad of differing colors!

Or the beauty of a sunset. Those nights where it just takes the oxygen right out of your lungs. God is just up displaying His glory for all to see! With every brush of color, contrast in light, wisp of cloud, touch of rain or dust, it's His design. From sitting on the shore... all the way to the top of the mountains, sitting above the clouds, each sunrise and sunset is hand crafted and unique! Painters try and go out and make beautiful artworks of it, photographers like me try to freeze it in place, others just are content sitting and taking it in, but all are glorifying God through His creation.

And then of course having my family with me over the last few weeks after what seems like an eternity not being all together at once! Being able to glorify God together. That's overwhelming in and of itself. 

And that is just a few examples in the last couple weeks. I can't take enough pictures of God's extravagant artwork as I travel to new places. I'm enamored by the complexity of it all.

But even more than that, I'm overwhelmed by Jesus. Colorful sunsets and bright flowers show a little piece of God's love for us, but it is shown so infinitely more in sending His son, to live the life we needed to, and then to take the punishment we deserved, so that we might gain the life we can only imagine! Freedom. Mercy. Grace. Unfailing Love. All my sins and mistakes and failures and shame were taken onto the punishment of Jesus, for me, so that his blood might make me white as snow, and he sits at the right hand of God interceding for me daily! I saw a picture a week ago, you know one of those quote pictures that are meant to speak meaning into your life, and it said, "He keeps saying that he really loves her, but he keeps on hurting her." I don't know what the intent of the quote was, and probably everyone takes it as a wrong they've felt inflicted by or a love they felt they deserved and didn't get, but I will tell you, I was immediately humbled by the quote. How many times have I confessed that I love God and then went against him? How many days have I gone to church in the morning and then rebelled against him later that day in some way or another. Yet even while I didn't love him, he still loved me. Even when I mess up and hurt Him, or hurt another one of His children, He still loves me and immediately forgives me when I repent. Love like that is overwhelming. It can bring you to tears when you truly feel the weight of it, the freedom of it.

While I have been on these Love Song Couples Getaway trips, I have had the chance to experience some powerful worship moments every morning in spectacular, God-glorifying, scenery. One of the songs I have kept hearing over and over again has a line in it that struck me and is the spark that this post sprung from.
"Because on and on and on and on [Your love] goes. For it overwhelms and satisfies my soul. And I never, ever have to be afraid."

While you are reading this, take a moment to remember the God that loves you. That paints the sky for you to see. That would die for you, that you might have life. That satisfies your soul. Wherever you are, Whatever you are doing, just pause, and talk to God. Take a moment to commune with God. If you are at work and need silence, just sit at your chair right now and close your eyes and be overwhelmed by His love during your day. If you are able to sing, just play the rest of the song that quote is from and take a few personal moments to worship God on your own. It will be the most important thing you do today.

"Your love never fails! It never gives up! It never runs out on me!" You can't exhaust His love. He's not going to one day be like, "Oh sorry, that was the last chance". NO! It never gives up, It never runs out. I hope you had a chance and really took time to worship in your own way just then! I hope that it overwhelmed you!

I heard a great quote the other night that said, "Marking your bible is great, but lets not focus so much on marking your bible as you do letting your bible mark you!" Amen to that. I am so guilty, as I am sure most of you are, of going to church and hearing a sermon that would be great for someone you know. Or reading a Christian living book and underlining quotes that would be great for a spouse, or a significant other, or a friend, or an ex..., etc. My prayer is that you and I wouldn't just read books to gain info, that we wouldn't listen to sermons to pick out meaningful points that would apply to someone else, that we wouldn't read our bible underlining things that sound cool and uplifting, BUT that we would read books, listen to sermons, study our bibles to mark ourselves, to change our lives! Every week, Every day, Every hour. May we take moments to be overwhelmed by the love of God every day, every morning if possible. If you need to, go back even right now and take a break to worship God.

Take charge of your own heart, no one elses, and mark it with Gods love. Yearn to find something each new day to learn and apply to your life, to your part in relationships, to your part in your family, whatever community you find yourself in.

Lord, I pray for my heart and for all the hearts reading this that you would be glorified by all of our worship today. We thank you for your overwhelming love, and for the chance to worship you wherever we are. We pray that you would mark our hearts with more of your truth today that we might focus on something we are amiss on and hand it over to you so that your love can penetrate our lives in every way. That is the yearning of our hearts Father. In your powerful, extravagant, and overwhelming name, Jesus Christ,