Friday, July 11, 2008

30 Days on Praise - Day 5

Look again; I changed the title a bit, from OF praise to ON praise, because it seems that's what the blog has been turning into, a tracking of my own journey to learn about praise. Hope you won't doze off.

I started the book last night, I read the first chapter. It starts off with a story about the author's son's wedding. She relays the way her daughter-in-law looked as she came towards her bridegroom, and how he looked at her. It talked about how despite a church full of people and all the fanfare of the wedding, the two really only had eyes for each other. It was the beginning of an analogy on worship and how the Lord feels about us.

She went on to talk about how often as women we look for that intimacy in other places, such as our marriages, and how life interferes with that. I suspect she is heading towards letting us know that the only place unending passion, fulfillment and intimacy can be found and satisfied in our hearts is with the Lord. And she is right.

But today I am struck by what a gift a marriage can be, when it's led by the Lord. My husband took care of something today; he made a sacrifice to make sure our family was complete at five people. It's something we had gone back and forth about and finally decided that our decision was made and needed to be solidified. So today he had the procedure done. Now, I am not overwhelmingly impressed with his willingness to have the procedure done, I mean, I did birth two children for him; but what has blessed my heart is that I know he did it for MY well-being.

A lot of his guy friends have been razzing him about it. A few have even tried to discourage him. One told him, "why don't you just have her (meaning me) get surgery?" And Neal has been really incredulous at these responses. He can't imagine why a husband wouldn't make a simple sacrifice (relatively speaking) to protect his wife from a greater threat. I feel lucky to have a husband who feels that way, because apparently not all husbands do.

It's a simple reminder for me, of what it feels like to have someone make a sacrifice just because they love you.

Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for me. (And for you, in case you didn't know.) He laid down his whole life, gave it up for me, just because He loves me. He didn't have to, it was more for my benefit than His, and it was for my protection.

That God is so worthy of my worship and praise, and a grateful heart. I certainly never did anything to deserve the grace I have been given, but yet He gave it anyway.

I am also thankful that God blessed me with the husband that he did. Our marriage isn't perfect, but God is at the center of it, so it's always moving in a better direction, even when it doesn't always feel like it. I am thankful to God for giving me a husband who reflects Jesus in my home, in my life.

God has a purpose and a plan, and as we seek Him he leads and guides, and reveals His plan and purpose. Even when we go through the hardest of times, the lowest of valleys, God is just as much there with us as He is on the mountain tops.

Wednesday night at church during worship I had a vision. Often we think of God's presence falling upon us in times of worship, like a blanket, covering the whole community of worshippers together. But as we sang and worshipped that night I saw in my mind the Lord walking in through the door, walking through us and among us, touching each of us individually, coming along aside, putting His arm around each one, walking through slowly, taking His time.

This is a picture of the intimate God I am hoping to grow to know better in these next weeks and days. The God of "into-me-see," He longs to touch me, and I long to be touched. And in case you didn't know, He longs to touch you too.

No comments: