Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Perfect Love

Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 213: Today, I am grateful for the perfect love that drives away fear. 

I am not perfect. I am so far from it. (my family need not comment) In fact, my perfectionist tendencies are at the root of most of the stress I self create. I want to do things well... even little things. 

There are times I need to learn to stop, let go, pray and let God be God. In recent years, I have learned more of what sovereign means. It means I may need a shield more than an answer. Embracing the Lordship of God means realizing that even when I don't always understand His ways, I can learn to trust His heart.

That is easier said than done. David wrote these words the day God delivered him from King Saul's hateful hand:

This God—his way is perfect [blameless]; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. -Psalm 18:30

David never set out to be king. He was chosen. The sacrifices and the troubles were big. Some of his woes were a result of his poor choices, but some came with his submission to sovereign. Growing into "king-hood" is not all it's cracked up to be. 

Let's take a closer look at this verse.

"This God - his way is perfect (blameless is another translation)." He sees the big picture. We don't. Men in leadership make decisions "for the greater good" all the time. God moves with the goal of bringing more back to his heart. He longs for the weary sinner to come home. Sometimes, it is the brokenness that brings us back to a place of seeking his face. Sometimes, we seek his face but still must face a trial. It is hard to pray, "Let this trial be a witness and a testimony to your love, grace and power." 

Semicolon ; Pause. Think. Pray. Ponder. Listen. 

"The way of the Lord proves true" Give it time...it will prove true. The journey might have tough spots, bumps, flat tires, illness and loss...but his ways are perfect. His word is true. We are just passing through and what lies ahead is impossible to imagine from earthly experiences. Give him time. His clock is not our clock. 

Semicolon ; Pause. Think. Pray. Ponder. Listen. Yes, pause again. 

he is a shield for all He is our shield of protection. He was our sacrifice that stamps us debt free and heaven bound. 

those who take refuge in him. Only those who choose him back know this profound peace... a peace that no foe, enemy or illness can steal. His refuge is available, but must be accepted. He is peace. We can fall into his embrace. 

John, the beloved disciple was the one Jesus asked to look after his mother on his way up Calvary's hill. John witnessed the greatest act of love, Lordship and power. He held the humble servant, Mary who said yes to the angel so many years ago. This was not what she had planned, dreamed or believed for her baby, her Jesus...her miracle. She, at that moment, could only see and feel the suffering. She did not understand. How could she? 

An amazing work was in progress... but all she could see, feel and hear was suffering. 

John's love was surely a comfort. Even in his own distress and brokenness. They shared the loss.  The had know idea of the power and joy of the resurrection to come. Neither do we. 

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." -1 John 4:18

Today, we can trust him and take refuge in the truth that we were born of His breath. He calls us to recognized that we are his. Not to control us, but that the power of his love might carry us through the darkest of days.  

We can be fearless... even in sorrow. We can feel loved... even in loss. We can have hope... when the enemy surrounds us whispering fear. 

Praying today for a family dear and near. Asking God to grant them echoes of His heart in a most difficult time. Asking him to continue to surround them in His perfect love. 

Today, I am grateful for the perfect love that drives away fear. 

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