Sunday, March 30, 2014

Love Without Measure

At the moment I am preparing for a trip to Israel.*
If anyone had asked me where I would like to go, if I had to choose just one place, I would have responded immediately with "Israel!".
If they had then asked when I would most like to be there my answer would have been "Passover!".

Well, no one asked, but Papa knew and amazingly He had decided now is the time for me to do so!
I often shake my head in wonder. 
How can this be?
Why is my God so good to me?

I could easily fill this page with line after line listing all the ways He blesses me.
My God is so very gracious!!

As I pack I can hardly grasp that I will be boarding a plane bound for Tel Aviv in less than a week!
It does not seem real to me, yet I do what needs doing in preparation because all the indications are telling me it is in deed a fact.  :)

Still I wonder over such blessings...

Papa knows our hearts and thoughts; He knows my heart and thoughts and He knows that I am just in wonder over Him.

He loves to send us into deeper wonder over Him and His ways.

I begin my day in a number of different ways as I try to let the Spirit lead me.  So after writing for a bit there are a selection of devotional thoughts to choose from.
Most often I do not consider opening up anything with too many words from man, but prefer something that offers a few thought-stirring words to accompany Words from God.
Yesterday morning I felt strongly prompted to open an offering from Frances Frangipane though he is rarely brief.

It was a love note from Papa to me.  One that spoke to my wonder.
Frances called his readers to consider the passage in the Old Testament found in Song of Solomon 3:1-4 .
He said we find there and throughout the book "a bride and bridegroom, both of whom are intolerant of the distance between them."

The bride is restless for her bridegroom and not willing to allow anything to keep her from him.  She is willing to go without sleep and venture out in unfamiliar places; willing to leave her comfort zone.
Let me share the verses with you below:

"On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.
I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the square
I must seek him whom my soul loves.
I sought him but did not find him. 
The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
And I said, ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’
Scarcely had I left them
When I found him whom my soul loves;
I held on to him and would not let him go
Until I had brought him to my mother’s house,
And into the room of her who conceived me.”
When we seek Him with all our hearts we are promised that we will find Him.
Why?  Because He wants to be found!  He is eager to be found!
Such a love story!

Frances spoke of Mary at the empty tomb weeping.  She was seeking Jesus with all her heart.
Jesus met her there, interrupting going to the Father, because He never ignores the heart longing for Him.

I have been longing for more of Him, yet life affords me but bits and pieces of time to enjoy just Him.
As I read these thoughts, which He had prompted Frances Frangipane to pen, my heart was stirred with the thought that the Lover of my soul was answering my heart's longing with time to be with Him without all the normal distractions of life.
And not just time, but such a setting for this intimate time with Him!

Papa loves to underscore His messages to me, so when I opened up Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning I received yet more words of the same.
Brennan reminded me that Jesus "love is welcoming, unconditional acceptance, a relentless and eternal affection that so far exceeds our human experience that even the Passion and death of Jesus is only a hint of it."  He called it "love without measure."

Ah, Papa, Your love humbles and astounds me!

The chorus to the song 10,000 Reasons  comes to my heart and mind....

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

*I will be sharing my experiences in Israel here as time and the Spirit allow.

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