An odd thing happened to me this past Friday. After a few cold and rainy days, there was a surprisingly nice weather day, especially for January. I decided to take this opportunity to go on a run in my neighborhood. It was near perfect weather for it, and the sun was shining brightly. I had finished my run and started walking a cool-down lap (my neighborhood is a circle). At this point, the clouds had rolled in, and the sun wasn’t shining quite as brightly as it was when I began. Due to the previous day’s rain, it was wet out. I live in a wooded area, and as I was walking and seeing all the soaked, dead trees, I thought, “Man, this just looks like depressing.”
All of a sudden, my eyes were drawn to the beautiful, blue sky that was bursting forth through the trees. It was like the moment in the Wizard of Oz when everything goes from black and white to full color. Admittedly, I am not someone who is often taken back by the splendor of nature. For whatever reason, this one really grabbed my attention. I looked down the road and saw that the sky was gorgeous, so I had to go and just take it all in. I stood in the middle of the road just looking up in amazement. I thought to myself, “God has brought something uncommonly beautiful into my life today.” God bringing uncommonly beautiful things into my life seems to be a theme for me lately.
As I got lost in the magnificence of what I was seeing, a cool breeze blew across my back. My mind immediately went to the passage in 1 Kings 19 when God speaks to Elijah in a gentle whisper. I felt as though God wanted to speak to me. I pulled out my headphones, quieted my mind, and waited to hear that “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) to speak to me. That’s exactly what he did. I stood there for a few moments and conversed with my Creator. It was wonderful. He didn’t waste his time with frivolous things (as he never does), but said exactly what my heart needed to hear.
I won’t share much about what he said because it was deeply intimate. These are things that I will treasure in my heart forever and lean on when I am struggling. However, I will share with you one thing that he said to me, “Love and be loved.” That, I believe, is the calling on all of our lives. We are to love God, first and foremost. Secondly, we are to love others. I am not forging a new path with that sentiment. That is a common refrain that you will hear from most Christians when it comes to the general calling that is placed on all of our lives. We struggle to do it, but we know that it is what we are supposed to be doing.
It’s the last part of that statement that we really have a hard time in accepting. We are not good at being loved. We immediately think about all the reasons as to why we are not lovable. If we’re being honest, there are more things that we think make us unlovable than we like. Here’s thing though, it is not up to you. You don’t get to decide if you are loved. That is totally up to the one who chooses to love you. Most importantly, God has chosen to love you. You can opt to fight it. You can keep pointing out to God all of your shortcomings and faults. You can bring to him your laundry list of mistakes. You can tell him that you’re not worthy to be loved. It’s pointless though. No matter what argument you have for why you are not deserving of his affection, he will counter with, “But, I love you anyway.” So, you just need to accept his love and embrace the freedom that comes with it. Freedom that tells you that guilt and shame have no place your hearts because it is full of the love of the one who knit it together. We all need to get over ourselves and be content in the fact that we are passionately, deeply, and completely loved by God. Why fight such astounding truth?
I will leave you with one final thought. Make time to have a moment with your Maker. I don’t believe what happened to me Friday evening was some rare, unprecedented event. It would happen more often if I would quiet the noise of my life and listen for voice of the Wonderful Whisperer. He had to paint a masterpiece in the sky to grab my attention. How much better would it be if we offered him that sort of attention regularly? He has words that he wants to speak to our hearts, and they are exactly what we need to hear. Please, make some time for your Maker, and let him whisper in you ear. You’ll be astonished at what you’ll hear.