I came across a familiar verse last week and laughed out loud. I have often found it strange that God would need to test me to find out what was in my heart – as if he didn’t already know. In a flash I realised that he tests me so that I can see what’s in my heart. The verse I read talked about God testing us to know if we loved him with all our soul and all our heart; and in that moment I knew the answer for me was ‘absolutely not – no testing required’.
Although I laughed, it was something of a wake up call. I have spent the last 30 years loving God, my life has been a string of choices made to serve him out of my love for him, so to realise that I don’t love him as much as I thought I did… well its been something to adjust to.
It’s got me wondering though, could it be that the whole of life is a journey to help us discover how un-godlike we are and thereby reveal the work of God’s unfailing love and infinite grace in us? As I reflect on the last few months, it feels like the screws have been tightened and one thing is clear, under pressure and deep down, I am not the pleasant, smiley, Jesus-follower-woman I thought I was. Quite the contrary!
I know and believe many of God’s promises for tomorrow his general ones and the ones specific to my life and ministry, however my problem is usually today. Sometimes as long as it is ‘now’ I feel forsaken and forgotten by him and in those moments that is all that I know and God’s plans for tomorrow seem kind of irrelevant. I love God but in those times I am more in touch with the parts of my heart and soul that do not. It has been my care for what others think of me, my sensitivity to being seen and valued, my drive to prove myself a worthy servant in God’s house…. rather than his love for me and mine for him that have defined my world these past weeks.
I have just finished listening to Tim Keller on Isaiah 49 he touches on much of this stuff and I have been encouraged – if you have time to listen please do, its only 35 minutes long (i’ll add the link to my websites on the left). I want my heart and mind to so know the truth of God’s love for me that I no longer live out an existence conditional on external circumstances or my internal world, but one based on God’s relationship with me. I want that faith, based on the unshakeable reality of God’s love, that can rise above and contain the evidence within me and around me that shouts to refute his faithfulness. I want to be still and know that he is God, today, and in the words that come from a celtic prayer:
Lord, You have always given peace for the coming day,
And though of anxious heart, today I believe.