He Is For Me
"The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?" Psalm 118:6
I was abruptly awakened by our security alarm barking early before the sun came up. So, off I went from my warm blankets into the chilly morning air to investigate. Our laundry room door was ajar. The wind's force was blowing through the tiny crevice causing it to open just enough to set off the howling sound. All that to say, I was assured everything was OK. I planned to return to my cozy bed, but the Lord had another idea. In obedience I decided to sit with Him.
The day before I was complaining to the Lord about some things. He definitely had a word for me. He spoke strongly to me right away, straight from His Word.
Luke 7:36-50 and Psalm 119:9-16.
An odd combination of verses, I thought.
Luke 7:36 starts with the story of Jesus at the Pharisee’s home. A sinful woman with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume stood behind Jesus and wept at His feet. She washed His feet with her tears, then dried His feet with her hair while kissing them and anointing them with the perfume. The Pharisee got mad because she was a sinful woman, a person with ‘defect’, a person with ‘problems and heartaches’, a person he thought made Jesus look 'bad'.
In verse 40 Jesus begins a parable of the two people who owed money. One owed more than the other. The money-lender graciously paid both debts in full. Jesus asked, “Now which of them will love the one more who paid their debt?” (v.42b)
This is what stopped me.
Who loves the One (Jesus) more?
The person with less debt . . . or the person with the most debt?
Simon, the Pharisee, responded, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt.” (v. 43).
I was compelled to stay and meditate on this a while.
Although this Scripture is talking about sin/debt, I heard in my thoughts:
I suppose the one who had the bigger problems and heartaches, bigger stress, sorrow, grief, and disappointments, the one with more need will love Him more. This one has seen Him get her through it all. She has seen Him show her His character in those hard things.
Yes, of course! The more sorrows life throws at me, the more trouble, the more disappointments - will cause me to need Him more and all the MORE I WILL LOVE HIM.
Jesus has paid my debt and the debt of those who hurt me. He gets me through the valleys. Not by myself. Not all alone. And, He works through my weaknesses, disappointments, sorrows, and grief and makes something beautiful out of it all, in me.
I wondered, how do I cooperate in all this?
"How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You, LORD; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word." Psalm 119:9-16
"How can a young person stay on the path of purity?" (v. 9a).
How can I love Him MORE with the BIGGER PROBLEMS?
"By living according to Your Word." (v.9b).
By living, by walking, by passing through the valleys, NOT ALONE…. but according to His Word.
By remembering His character.
If He does not one more thing for me, do I still love Him? Do I love Him because of how He makes me feel? What He does for me? or because of WHO HE IS?
That is what bellowed loudly within my anxious heart this morning.
My action plan:
1. Remember. Write out His attributes and thank Him for them.
2. Confess. Ask Him to forgive me for filling my heart with complaints and replace it with Eucharesteo— thankfulness for everything, and especially for WHO HE IS.
3. Be mindful. What is my MORE? My broken thing? My debt?
My problems, griefs, and disappointments can accomplish one of 2 things. I have the choice of which path I will take:
(1) the path of discontent, depression, complaining, hopelessness, lack of trust in my faithful God:
(2) the path that knows and loves and trusts the One Who paid my debt, and trusts He will get me through life's disappointments, sorrows, and grief.
Which one of us loves the ONE (Jesus) More? The one who chooses to walk in the power of God's Spirit in love, by love, and for love is the one with MORE _____ (you fill in the blank). More hurts. More pain. More sin. More need.
Jesus paid my sin debt in full. It is clear as I see His love working for me on the Cross.
Is it also true that the more problems, sorrows, griefs, and disappointments I have, the more I can see Him at work in me.
I am weak, He is strong. I sadly admit I don’t 'need' Him so much when life is full of happy flowers and sunshine. But, I DESPERATELY need Him when life is full of pain and disappointments. I see HIM clearer. His character screams out when I invite Him to walk with me in the desert of sorrow instead of walking it alone. I learn MORE about Him and more about myself walking WITH Him in my garden of grief.
And then He whispered this to me this morning:
“Daughter, this is where I want you. Desperate for Me . . . leaning into Me . . . relying on Me. I am your lover, your sustainer, your creator, your only unchangeable thing in this whole broken world, your comforter, your counselor, your deliverer, your fortress, your guide, your healer, your peace, your refiner, your refuge, your rescuer, your rock, your shepherd, your teacher. I am trustworthy, faithful, forgiving, gentle, good, holy, husband, just, jealous for you, longsuffering, love, merciful, mighty, miracle worker, powerful, steadfast, strong. Trust Me. “
Do you want to love and know Him deeper? Give Him the "More", those broken things in your life, and walk in His Word.
"I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11
by Lisa Nazaryk