Thursday, September 29, 2011

He is jealous for me

He is jealous for me.
Those are the opening words to a great song, and "He" is God. They are words that are found all over the Bible...God is a jealous God. I've heard it since I was little bitty, but lately I've really been trying to think about it.

Ted and I have, admittedly, a weird relationship with "Christian" music. To be perfectly blunt, we think a lot of it sounds awful. That's coming from people who wholeheartedly love Jesus and want to worship Him through music...but so much of it is lame! And its frustrating, because there are so many talented artists and musicians these days that are making great music that moves our souls...just not toward our Creator. So Ted and I have always been bigger fans of "secular" artists that sing occasional songs pointedly to God...Ben Harper, Johnny Cash, Amos Lee, Mumford and Sons, because the songs are GOOD and do what I think Christian artists are trying--and sometimes failing--to do: set my heart on things above.

So, the David Crowder Band, where this blog started and I got off track and talked about music that has nothing to do with anything, has this song I like to run to, and its starts "He is jealous for me." Huh? He made me.
As I'm running past beautiful Meridian-Kessler homes late at night, sometimes its easier to understand his jealousy. Gorgeous houses, manicured lawns, nice cars, remodeling signs everywhere, fancy restaurants, TV's flickering in almost every single window, To-Do lists scattered everywhere. Our schedules leave us no margins. Our planning consumes us. Our worrying and regretting diminishes Him. Pretty things seduce us. Technology distracts us. Its so crazy to me that our hearts were created to long for God, but its a DISCIPLINE to get ourselves to acknowledge Him on a daily basis, at least in this neck of the world. We've made him our last resort, instead of our first love like he's supposed to be. He is jealous for us...for our time, for our attention, for our affection, for our praise, for our submission and for our hearts. He doesn't NEED us to do His thing--He's God...He just wants us to be filled with Him--complete--so that we can hear his voice and follow it, to be a part of what he's doing in and with the world. And when I can let go of my toddler-grip on my pretty things and my precious, pressed time (Mine??), I just come back to life. The life that, praise God, does not revolve around me or my family. That's what He does. He breaks me out of the jail of always trying to ensure my own welfare and shows me He's doing huge things in His world and I can join Him if I can just look past my own nose for a second. He says our lives are just a breath. That's all. When I die, I don't want to say I just entertained myself for 80 years and hoarded every blessing he gave me...I want to say I served the God of the universe, and the people he intentionally placed around me. There is a Kingdom we cannot see with our eyes, and most days I live as though it isn't there.

I've been reading Romans this week. I love it; it sums up what I love about God: he knows and exposes the truth about me--the selfish way I'm bent--and then pushes me stumbling into His light and reminds me I'm His daughter and infinitely loved.

He is a Good Father. He waits, and his patience and mercy are endless. He watches me get tangled up with sin, and he watches me idolize myself and my children and my money and my stuff and all the things that crowd my mind and push him out hourly, and then sets me right and gives me yet another chance. That's the God I love.

"But sin didn't--and doesn't--stand a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace."
Romans 5:20

Agressive forgiveness. Don't you just crave that?

I do.


Dean, Mel, Ben, and Joey said...

Amen, Caroline. Needed to read this and be reminded of this lesson today. Thank you :)