Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fierce Love

I haven't written in a while, for a number of reasons. One reason being, it's been an exhausting time in my life lately. Also I've felt quiet and contemplative, I've needed to do less saying and more listening. Here's one of the passages I've been enjoying lately:

2 Samuel 22:4-19
4 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
5 "The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
6 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
7 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears.
8 "The earth trembled and quaked,
the foundations of the heavens shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
9 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
10 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
11 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of his presence
bolts of lightning blazed forth.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot arrows and scattered the enemies ,
bolts of lightning and routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke of the LORD,
at the blast of breath from his nostrils.
17 "He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.

What a picture! I can barely fathom such a thing. What was it that moved God, that would cause him to "part the heavens and come down", that caused the very foundations of heaven and earth to shake? Ah, the piteous cry of his needy child. The call uttered in desperation, the longing from a trusting heart moved the loving Parent to action. Have you ever seen God in such a light, has he ever "reached down from on high and lifted you out of deep waters"? Have you ever wished he would? Have you ever asked him to? His response may not come in visible bolts of lightning. And as much as I would love to see the God of hosts mounted on a cherubim flying to my rescue I'm not sure this weak heart could actually handle such a sight. Even though we may not physically see such a display of the protective love described in these verses, I do not doubt the reality of the rescue described. Ultimately isn't that what Calvary is, rescue from "my powerful enemy... who was too strong for me"? When we're in deep waters; buffeted by sin, drowning in accusations, awash with hopelessness, sinking in rejection we can call out. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around being the recipient of a response of such fierce love and mercy. I have to ask myself not only do I believe this description of the God I worship, but do I believe what this passage says about me. Do I really believe my cry of need could move God to such a response? Do I believe that seeing me oppressed really makes him angry, like a mother watching her child be bullied sets her jaw and swiftly makes her way across the playground with fire flashing in her eyes? Do I believe I am the object of such a love? I confess I struggle to. The thought of such a love makes my head swim, but I'm hooked. Even though it will take the rest of this lifetime and I imagine eternity, I want to know more!

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