My favorite worship song is How He Loves Us. It’s almost a dark worship song, if such a thing exists. It was written by one who understands the complexity of losing yourself in the love of Christ. That pain of being ripped apart, but the peace of knowing that you are completely safe in His hands and the joy of knowing that He loves you enough to destroy the bad in you in order to bring out the good. I love this song, because it acknowledges my pain but reaffirms how beautiful His love is. My church doesn’t do it often, nor does my radio station, but when either of them do, it always brings me instantly into deep worship. I no longer care about all the people around me, or my fighting kids if we’re in the car. My spirit hears the call to worship this God who understands all too well my pain, and my voice answers the call in full belt.
He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree. Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory. And I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me.
That’s what it feels like, this life of following Christ. It feels like I am a tree that is fighting to stay upright in a storm that is so much bigger than myself. But what I don’t always realize is that I’m not meant to fight it, I’m meant to trust God enough to let go of my fight. To let the wind carry me near the point of breaking, so I can experience the enormity of His love for me when He prevents me from being snapped in two with His unlimited strength and power. I learn how to live in God’s perfect joy, because His glory eclipses my current pain.
And oh, how He loves us, oh. Oh, how He loves us. How He loves us so.
What an awesome love is this?
We are His portion, and He is our prize.
“We are His portion”–we are God’s inheritance. Us. In our despicable, sinful muck, we are God’s greatest treasure. Please, don’t undervalue that, friends! The God of heaven and earth, the author and perfector of life itself, the One who is, who always was, and who always will be, the One who needs nothing, wants you. Oh, how He loves us.
You know when we get down on ourselves because we don’t have that house/car/fill in the blank thing that we really want, despite how hard we work? How we allow the absence of said thing to dictate our identity and let it define whether we have been successful or not? ‘Well, I still haven’t made it because by my age I really should have…’ That kind of thinking is a lie straight from the pit of hell. And I’m not being over dramatic when I say that, I’m serious– Satan is a real enemy, friends, and He understands our powerful positions as God’s children better than we do. He wants us to get so wrapped up in the things of this world that we lose sight of the fact that all of our meaning is drawn from Christ. He is our prize. Screw the house/car/dream job, for all of those things are just distracting us from the awesome truth that God is our prize. And He will fulfill us so much more than anything this world has to offer ever will.
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. And if grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest.
I love this picture of grace being an ocean. It helps remind me how endless God’s grace is. No matter how much someone may love us, we all have our limits in our human nature. If we hurt someone too many times, chances are that they will cut us out of their life, because they ran out of grace. But God’s grace is as vast as the sea–He always has enough for us. Anyone who has messed up in a big way or been hurt very deeply and had God’s grace heal those areas understands the picture of sinking in God’s ocean of grace. It’s so overwhelming that you feel like you are suffocating and breathing for the first time all at once. It ruins you forever in the best kind of way.
And I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that He loves us.
God is a devouring fire. When we are in the midst of experiencing the purity of God’s love, mercy, and grace lavished upon us, we can’t possibly maintain our hurts as well. Because in His unrelenting grace, He devours all of our pain with His holy fire. His fire is the only kind that burns from true love, the only kind that completely devours us, the only kind that sets us free.
It is this love that we can barely understand that we celebrate on Easter. A love that came down from heaven to rescue us by dying a most painful death. A love that looks past all of our muck and chooses to love us anyways. Jesus is the unforeseen kiss from heaven to earth.
Oh how He loves us, oh. Oh, how He loves us. How He loves us so.
Happy Easter, friends.