Something was keeping me in my chair. Though everyone else was getting up to leave, I felt a strong yet subtle urgency to remain seated. It was not yet time for me to go. And so I waited. I lingered. I listened. I closed my eyes and sat at the feet of my heavenly Father, who gently picked me up to sit in his lap and gaze at his beauty as he delighted in me simply being with him.
So often I fill my schedule with so many things from my to-do list, because I feel if I am not out doing something, I am wasting my life. But we were made for so much more. We were made to live in the fullness of the presence of the Lord.
Paul says it this way in Acts 17:24-28, “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs – for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him – though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.”
It was so refreshing to not have anywhere else I felt I needed to be that night in Kenya. Though I did not expect it, God had carved out that evening for just the two of us, and I am so grateful he did. I don’t know how long we spent together that night, but it was enough time for me to receive his complete healing he has been offering me ever since I returned from Amsterdam this spring. It was enough time for me to repent for not treating him in the same way I talk about him. But most of all, it was enough time for me to be overcome by the sheer wonder of his love.
Tears rushed down my face as I silently cried out to God in adoration, “No matter how much I fall short, you never give up on me. Though I neglect you, you still love me. Even more, you continue to pour out your grace upon me. You are still accomplishing your great purposes in and through me. No matter what, you still love me. You love me. God, how can you love me like that? It’s who you are.”
So wrapped up in the love of my heavenly Father, I began to softly sing the words Chris Tomlin etched so well, “You’re a good, good Father – it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are. And I’m loved by you – it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.”
Here I go again. Even as I write this, I am once more overwhelmed with love for God in response to his abundant love for me. Friends, if you confess and believe Jesus Christ is Lord, you are and forevermore will always be a beloved child of God. And for those of us who have received his adoption as sons and daughters, he no longer looks at those things we feel the need to apologize for. Jesus paid for all of that in full on the cross so we might truly live in the freedom of who we are: loved by God.
On the first day of 2015, God gave me two words I prayed would define this year and each day that filled it: “Only God.” When I began this year in Amsterdam, I never imagined I would close the year in Kenya, but God knew. All along, God knew.
His best is worth living for, and according to history, he felt our worst was worth dying for. How can we respond to God in anything but love for him when he has loved us so?
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” -Romans 5:8
*If you want to spend time in the fullness of the presence of the Lord right now, I encourage you to close your eyes and listen to this song “A Little Longer” by Bethel Music all the way to the end.*