I was entranced by my morning devotions as I came to a deeper understanding of a spiritual truth. The scripture, found in Mark 14, tells about a time in Bethany when Jesus was enjoying a meal with friends. Not just ordinary friends ~Jesus had some very interesting friends ~ Simon, His host, was an ex-leper.
At some time during this gathering a woman came in and approached Jesus with a gift. By reading a parallel subject in John 12:1-3 it seems that Simon may have been (if my understanding is correct) the father of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, who were dear and close personal friends of Jesus; again, not such ordinary people if we study the trauma experienced during their lives.
This woman who came in may have been Mary, the sister who loved while the other sister labored. You know the story told here, of her priceless gift, and her love for the Master. However the crux of the matter for me is not her gift, but His words, and they stunned me.
After scolding the scoffers, Jesus gave her a blessing: “She has done a beautiful thing for me.” (CEV) “A good work for me.” (NKJV). This blessing, and the implication, is what captured my attention. It was a concept brought to me by Oswald Chambers in his book My Utmost for His Highest. It was not entirely new to me in my subconscious perhaps, but in the awakened part of my mind I had, as far as memory goes, never dwelt on this particular aspect of God’s love.
My day caught up with me; I was envisioning the subject as I was led along in my busy life.
The rain fell in a heavy fashion, sluggishly. The splashes had edges. It was almost, but not quite snow or ice, but close. I was hesitant to leave my warm home; my mind was still in the Bible, but the errands wouldn’t wait, I had to go. I tried to keep my mind on my “must dos”, but pondering thoughts trailed after me.
Can I describe it using just words?
“God is love.” I know that verse by heart. This is another of my all-time favorite verses: “Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us.” It’s found in 1st John 4:9-10, as well as “For God so loved the world…” in John 3:16. I know, and believe, the basis for total truth is God’s word; I trust in these scriptures, I know He loves me. Yet, I most often just accept the surface level of love without delving into the layers and stratum of all it means from God’s perspective, if I even could.
So, I gleaned, on an early spring morning (that still feels like deep winter) this: God values me. Dare I even think those words?
God Almighty, my heavenly Father values me. Whoa… this goes beyond love; this shoots through the universe and aims for heaven itself ! It’s a different level ~ a knee bending, mind blowing thought to be treasured, explored, and to exult in!
My perception about the meaning of love is, I suppose, rather simple. It does have several levels of meaning… I understand and experience family and friendship love; the “I would die for you!” love, and the deep feelings of loss when separated; the joy when surrounded by the same ones. I know the need to feel, touch, and kiss ~ hugs are physical connections to the heart between people who love each other.
I actually love Love. I want to be surrounded by it, always! This tells how I view love as it goes out from me, and maybe I speak for you, but how is my concept of God’s love (who “first” loved me) even close to the reality of something so all-consuming and beyond human understanding and our emotions?
He values… me?
I have learned today when I do those things for God ~ compelled only because I love Him, as did Mary with the gift of the alabaster box~ offering Him my “ordinary simple human” things gives evidence of my total surrender. This is not to prove who I am, but because of who He is, and my relationship to Him. I am His child; He values my love gift… me.
To value: have worth, merit, or importance. While you are on bended knees, try to think of this definition belonging to you in the heart of your heavenly Father.
I am aware of all (or most) of my faults and peculiar traits that may confuse or even disturb others at times, even though they are familiar with my personality. So, I think those who love me have an “in spite of” love for me, and in my heart of hearts, I have always thought that was the way God loved me, “He made me this way, so He has to love me!” Yeah! That kind of love; it is an “in spite of” type.
Yet, he values … me? What comfort, what peace, what mystery occurs when I freely surrender “my all” to Him!
The rain has lessened, but the low clouds roll on in a threatening manner; this gray morning in Kentucky, it is exciting to say the least! As I drove, my thoughts of being valued by the Lord in return for sweet gifts of devotion, gathered steam and my amazement continued to grow.
Due to my lack of ability to make a quick decision, I became minimally wet while I finished taking care of my business. Should I grab the umbrella from under the passenger seat (meaning I would have to bend, stretch and twist to reach it with bottom up) or pull on my hood which was caught inside my jacket collar? All the while I was standing between the car and the door, and the rain was falling and splashing in the puddle at my feet making ridiculing sneering sounds!
Finally! Warm and dry, back in my house in my reading chair with a good book ~ I should say “The” Good Book. Once again I am diving into the love God has for me, it is written all over in indelible ink, and it is here to stay. I just can’t get enough. I want to live my life in open gratitude. I want to make large and overwhelming, as well as those “small gifts of surrender”, to my lovely Lord. I desire to be of value to the God who is “love” Himself!
I praise using ancient words spoken by one he loved to the ultimate, David ~ “Your love means more than life to me, and I praise you. As long as I live I will pray to you. I will sing joyful praises and be filled with excitement like a guest at a banquet.” Psalms 63:3.
Loved, valued, warm and satisfied, filled in every way ~ not only do I experience the mountain top, but I think I am running, jumping, and spinning through the valley!
Unless noted all scripture is from CEV.