Love That Burns

combustible

Being refined and disciplined isn’t easy.

Facing the flawed parts of ourselves doesn’t give us warm fuzzies.

It takes courage to look deep into ourselves, and to be honest about our character flaws.  I love to hide and make excuses to myself for things that I don’t want to change.  And God is so gracious, he doesn’t force us.  That doesn’t mean that He protects us from the consequences of our sin, but He allows us to continue doing things our own way.

I am overcome by these glimpses into His character.  The one who created the universe, just by speaking into the emptiness.  His endless creativity and power are on continual display in nature.  We get to catch glimpses of Him daily if we take the time to look.  And yet, in our own selfishness we can pretend like He doesn’t exist…and He lets us.

The truth that I am finding is this- His love burns.

It hurts when he starts refining us- burning off those parts that need to go.

I don’t like the things He reveals to me about what’s hidden underneath my own rationalizations and excuses.  But I can observe the distance that I choose when I go my own way and allow other things to crowd Him out.

There are days when I feel close to Him, connected almost without interruption, and sometimes there are weeks that I get to the end of and I am astounded to realize that I have not stopped and truly talked with Him, sat with Him, walked with Him.  My quiet times in the morning were rushed through- and my own agenda ruled instead of that simple seeking- that humble kneeling that acknowledges His sacred presence.

This discipline of being intimately connected with the one who brooks no excuses about my sinfulness continues to challenge me.  His love makes me long for change; His conviction humbles me and reminds me of my own neediness.

And it is so simple, yet so hard.  The journey that requires me to keep letting go.  This voice that whispers a more excellent way and gently challenges me to walk in it.  This loving Father who disciplines me, gives me sorrow for my sin, and passion to love Him more completely- to surrender to His molding.

And always freedom.

A choice.

The roads diverge- the narrow way promises challenges and hardships- but claims our hearts as we bask in the light of love unending, and the promise that we will never walk alone.

O Lord, you know how these weeks have tested me.  Your love keeps calling, even in the midst of my weakness and failures.  I am so thankful that you never stop reaching out to me, your sweet voice whispers love and light- your truth pierces the darkness of deception.  I want more- more of you, less of me. I am helpless without you.  I hate the distance between us- I want you close always.  You keep my steps firm, your love strengthens me and prepares me for whatever I face.  I know you can stretch time, you can make each minute more meaningful.  You inject purpose and hope into my work, as I submit to your leading.  Thank you for your constant calling, and the way that you let me fall on my face, that I may remember how much I need you.  You are so gentle and kind, so pure in your love. So patient as you wait for me to remember how much I need you.  Gracious, precious Savior, you have my heart.  Lead me in your truth and teach me.  May your love never cease to overwhelm and silence me, to bend me low in wonder and praise.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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