Saturday, December 24, 2011

In Love

He says, "Abide in me, and I in the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love."
What a curious thing it is that our human hearts resist to be abandoned to this kind of love. And, yet, we'd hopelessly splurge and give ourselves away to anyone and anything on earth that asks for it, at whatever loss or cost. And, even when those things don't satisfy, or perhaps lead us to life-long misery, we still continue to give to them. What a grieving cycle the human heart lives in! No matter what "good intentions" we may have, it is all vain and unfulfilling. I look around at my generation and it is no wonder why so many are disillusioned and miserable. It's no wonder why I was once the very same.

I remember when I had resisted this love, calvary love. I resisted because I knew it was going to mean the death of me. Because it would mean I would no longer be free to do as I will. Because it would mean He would be ruling and I would be submitting. But, why does that sound so terrible? He is so trustworthy. To be free in His will is vastly more wondrous than being free in my own will. Only a repentant heart learns this, though.
Now, on the other side of that breaking and awakening, I feel like a child. I closely resemble the apostle Peter. I don't have anything to boast of in this life. But, I'm on a love-journey, and have been for quite some time now. This love-journey is massively unpredictable and a little topsy-turvey. I am walking with my Maker; how much more strange can it get? Sometimes, I sense that the Lord keeps me in a perpetual state of disillusionment in regards to all things earthly. When frustration has drifted in and out, I seen more clearly that He would have me free from the illusions of my own making. He would have me disrobed of all the expectations that seem "normal" in order to lead me to happiness. This is why I was significantly moved by the lyrics to a Misty Edwards' song: "And happy am I, to live a hungry life/Blessed am I, to thirst/Disillusionment, it is my gift within/I am blessed/I am blessed among men!" Disillusionment, a gift? Yes, one of the best gifts that He has given me. I have heard Him whisper into my life, "I want your heart. I long for it and I will have it." So, I don't run anymore. I'm a little stuffed up with Self at times, but He makes His way in. It is a beautiful gift to belong to Him, to take His name, and to no longer be identified in anyway with myself.
At the start of 2011, I remember prayerfully asking my Lord to take me deeper into His love, to grow me up into Him. In every way, this year has appeared to be more of a hindrance to that prayer than an encourager. It has been the weight of so many things pressing in at all sides. My heart was desperate because I couldn't even sense His presence and love at times. Yet, it was all necessary to this love-journey. And, I remember, His love is so unlike this world's love. His love leads us through many deaths and resurrections. His love leads us through tempests. One of my favorite lines of poetry even testifies to this unearthly love:
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken (Shakespeare, Sonnet 116)

So, I am in love. Living in it, searching it out, yielding to it. And, this love has a name...Yeshua.

I'm in love with a Man
I'm in love with a Stranger
I'm in love with my Maker
Whom I have never seen
I'm in love with a Lamb
I'm in love with a Lion
I'm in love with my Savior
Whom I have yet to know

There is no shadow of turning in You
No rebellion or pride
You don’t know greed or envy or strife
Your intentions are pure and holy

Delighting to do the Father’s will
You don’t have a thought against Him
But humbly You live in perfect restraint
Waiting for promises given

You’re gentle, You’re meek, yet Your heart is strong
Jesus, Your gladness is contagious
You are not selfish, You can’t compromise
You are the truth, You can’t lie

You don’t hold a grudge or have a cynical eye
Bitterness has no part of You
But You’re quick to forgive, let me back in again
Your kindness is so liberating

Jesus, You have a beautiful heart
Jesus, You have a beautiful heart

For I am in love with you,
and there is no cost.
I am in love with you,
and there is no loss.
I am in love with you,
I want to take your name.
I am in love with you,
I want to cling to you, Jesus,
Just let me cling to you, Jesus.

For a long time, I’ve been waiting for You
You have won my heart, and I am following
For a long time, I’ve been crying out for You
Tears make my heart soft
And I am ready for the return of the Lover

Fashioned from the very fabric of God
At the start of time, set free to decide
I will love You, ’cause You’re the One who loved me first
Just one look from Your eyes
I’m captivated by the eyes of the Lover
Take my heart, my mind and strength too

I was made for loving You
I will wait, and I’ll be faithful
I was made for loving You

Bowing low in the presence of the One
At the end of time, I’ll hear the bells chime for our wedding
It will wait no longer now
Oh how I love You
I’ll finally fall into the arms of the Lover

Come as close as You want,
Consume this heart that longs to burn
I know Your fire can hurt,
But I would be worse here without You

For I was made to dwell with You,
And how I ache until I do

Holy God, Take my heart,
Purge with flame and truth!
Holy heart is all I want,
That I may live with You!

Come and take all this chains
That get in the way of what You want
And as I stand in the flame
Still I will say, “I trust You God!”

And then I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me
I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me
He was looking at me, looking at Him, staring through me
I could not escape those beautiful eyes
And I began to weep and weep

He had arms wide open, a heart exposed
Arms wide open; He was bleeding, bleeding

Love’s definition, love’s definition was looking at me
Looking at Him, hanging on a tree
I began to weep and weep and weep and weep

This is how I know what love is, this is how I know what love is

And as I sat there weeping, crying
Those beautiful eyes, full of desire and love
He said to me:

“You shall love Me, You shall love Me
You shall love Me, You shall love Me”

(compilation of lyrics by Misty Edwards)