I just need to post this for two reasons- First, to give God glory for what he is doing in my life, and secondly to point others to the hope, love, and grace that the Father has lavished upon us as his children.
There are moments in my day, which particularly come right before I’m planning on going to bed, where I sometimes get an overwhelming painful feeling from the bottom of my heart to the pit of my stomach mostly because of my own fears, doubts, and loneliness. I always strive to give those moments to God because I have learned that he is more than capable to handle any emotion or feeling that I have. It hurts to hurt, but I don’t feel shame or guilt about having these moments like I used to. I think that somewhere in between this last year of taking a local GriefShare program and a Spiritual Warfare class at Multnomah that taught me that God wants to heal and let us experience the emotions that come as a part of grieving and processing without any condemnation. The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin, but not in a way that makes us full of self-hate or animosity, but of peace and his comfort that we can confess and repent of any type of attitude or actions that we have participated in.
Last night I was not feeling the greatest because I spent time thinking about how much I miss Jennica, I just found out that I was not selected for a job I interviewed for a few weeks ago, and just how I long for the embrace of God in my life so much more in the moments that I feel hurt. After locking up the church I spent time reading the letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3 and the entire chapter of Luke 15. I think that what I took away from that is the need to continually look forward and remember that Jesus is coming and that God is excited about having relationships with his children.
In Luke 15 Jesus shares the parables of the lost sheep, the woman who lost her coin, and the prodigal son. I think my favorite parable is the prodigal son because it reminds me of God’s continual love and joy over the lives of his children. It also forces me to ask myself, “How often do I resemble the sons that Jesus talks about?” Sometimes I’m sinful, other times I’m self-righteous; sometimes I do my will instead of God’s, other times I over-analyze God’s will and still miss it; sometimes I am simply looking for mercy, other times I want others to be punished. Though, mostly where I find myself whether I am resembling the younger or the older son at the moment, I want the embrace of the Father. Though, not only do I want the embrace- I want all of the other things: for him to be looking for me, to see me in the distance, and to run after me with arms open wide! Luke 15:20 says it best:
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.
This embrace, captured by Rembrandt in his painting, is very well known and serves as kind of a visual that I have enjoyed in the past.
Generally, I feel that in my life, God’s presence is in the gentle touch of the Spirit in my heart in times of contemplation, silence, prayer, going on a walk, seeing creation, singing worship songs, studying my Bible, and many other ways.
I hope that you can know today how deep the Father truly loves you. If you have never received Christ, please click here to learn how you can do that.
How are you reminded of God’s presence in your life during hard times?