Monday, April 11, 2011

God as a Romantic

What images come to mind when you think of "our Father?" I image a big man sitting on his throne in Heaven, Jesus who died for us on the cross, or the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in healings and miracles. From the conversations I've had with friends and family, these are pretty typical images, probably not far from what you imagine.

There is nothing wrong with these images, but I think there is something special about understanding how incredibly personal each person's relationship with our Lord truly is. I would like to suggest a small change in perspective on your relationship with the Father Almighty.

To put it simply, it's a love story.

One Sunday at my home church, the priest used the song "I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March to express how the Lord never stops pursing us and how we in return should never stop following him and working on our relationship with Him. In case you're not familiar with oldies, you can listen to it here.

Ever since that sermon, I have developed a tendency to imagine how pop songs and corny movie lines could relate to my faith. It may be a little off the beaten path, but that doesn't phase me. Actually, it has turned out to be much simpler than I imagined.

I guess here is where I should confess that I'm a sucker for chick flicks. They aren't always realistic, but they make me happy, give me a glimmer of hope, and provide great material for this topic. These 'romantic quotes' were written for the man and woman in the film, but they are crystal clear pictures of the passion, love, and desire our Lord has for each and every one of us.

Imagine these lines being spoken by the Lord to you, instead of to the lovely characters in the movies.

"So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day. Will you do something for me, please? Just picture your life for me? 30 years from now, 40 years from now? What’s it look like? If it’s with him, go. Go! I lost you once, I think I can do it again. If I thought that’s what you really wanted. But don’t you take the easy way out." ~The Notebook~
Our relationship with Jesus certainly isn't easy. With all the temptations in our materialistic world, it is painfully easy to lose track of what is actually important. It's hard work. It's not always 'fun.' But when I think of my life 40 years from now, 62-year-old me still relies on the Lord to bring her strength in her weakness, joy in the sorrow, healing when there is pain, and hope when all seems lost. I know that God will never stop loving me, never stop pursuing me. I also know that it is a decision to have a relationship with Him. It is a two-way street and although the relationship is different from that of Noah and Allie in The Notebook, we can certainly relate to that kind of passionate, overwhelming love.

"My heart is, and always will be, yours." ~Sense and Sensibility~
It says in Jeremiah 1:5 ""Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" and before he created you he loved you. The Lord loves us like no one else can. He gives us His absolute, perfect, unconditional love despite our flaws, our sins, our weaknesses. There is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from that love. His heart will always long for us. Always. That, if you ask me, is about as romantic as it gets.

"I like you very much. Just as you are." ~Bridget Jones's Diary~

The Lord created us the way we are on purpose. Our funny quirks, unique traits, the thing that makes you you, was created intentionally. So of course He loves us the way we are -- that's what he meant to do! So don't try to change, don't try imitate someone else. The Lord who is absolutely crazy about you likes you for you.

"If I want to share the rest of my life with you, I've got to ask you now." ~Runaway Bridge~

Have you ever felt convicted? You know that feeling when your conscience is clearly telling you something? Have you had an experience that felt like God's doing? Have you had a desire to improve, to grow, to nuture your relationship with God? Those feelings are without a doubt Jesus speaking to you. The Lord wants to spend not only our time on Earth in a special relationship, but all eternity. He will always ask us to give our hearts, our minds, and our bodies to Him. It will always be "now" that He is asking. And when we say "no" or say "yes" and then pull back, God will return yet again to ask us kindly, bravely, sweetly, and convincingly, "Do you love me? Will you spend your life with me? I love you."

"You will never know love unless you surrender to it." ~Fools Rush In~

I don't know about you, but I find it much, much easier to be an outside observer when it comes to love than to be the one who takes the risk, jumps in head first, and puts my heart on the line. Maybe that's why I love romantic comedies so much. Nevertheless, the love that is 'much easier to observe' is not only the mushy man and woman love that you see holding hands, hugging, smiling, and gazing into each others' eyes. It is the love that is seen in worship, in prayer, in healings, in miracles. Falling in love is an amazing experience -- but it is also a little scary. Falling in love with a man is quite an adventure, but falling in love with my creator? The Alpha and the Omega? The beginning and the end? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Oh my...I think I need to sit down. Falling in love with the most perfect one of all would be the most fabulous, exciting, breathtaking and joy creating time of. my. life.

I think I am finally ready. I'm ready to start to love and be loved. To praise and worship the one that my heart yearns for. I'm ready to start living my own love story.

Are you?

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