Last month I wrote about the Romance.. the larger story of God’s continual display of love in our world. Rather than move on to another topic.. I wanted to stay with the Romance and keep reminding us of the truth that He is constantly pursuing us ..He keeps the desires of our hearts tucked in a safe place so that when it is time.. He will bring them to fulfillment.
The tough part is learning how to navigate the road of life when it seems as though those desires remained unfulfilled for too long. We tend to start doubting.. is He good? Has He forgotten me? Am I asking for too much? Should I give up? In my experience none of these questions really help.. they just tend to bring discouragement. So what do we do while we are waiting? Live fully.. trusting Him with His timing and affirming our desire to follow Him fully even we when we feel forgotten.
This enables Him to surprise us .. to come through long after we thought He would. We begin to truly understand that ” His thoughts are not ours.. His ways are not our ways.” The path is not a smooth one.. but along the way there is beauty and there are glimpses of the Romantic heart of God. He renews our strength as we call out to Him ..He fills us with hope.. we become more dependent upon Him and we start to trust His heart.. all things that He desires for us!
About fifteen years ago I was part of a group of women who were reading The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis. It was a book that changed my life. John has gone on to write many other books..his wife and son also write. I appreciate their ministry and their message. This initial book is still my favorite..I often refer to it in my counseling practice and recommend it. The concept of a sacred romance was new to me and a little unnerving at first. Was God truly a romantic and was it true that He was romancing us in this very fallen world? As I began to open up to that possibility.. I saw glimpses of the goodness of God in ways that were wonderfully surprising. Of course.. it began to make sense.. we are created in His image … we embrace and long for romance.. He must have invented it.
Over the years since that time in my life I have kept the romance alive as much as possible..there were times when it seemed exceedingly real and times when it seemed to be an impossible dream. I read John’s other books and reminded myself that I needed to fight for this. I keep thinking about the reminder at the end of the book.. John writes ” Finally, we were meant to remember together, in community. We need to tell our stories to others and to hear their stories told. ..our regular times of coming together to worship are intended to be time of corporate remembrance..’ This God has done’, we say this, He will do.’ ..remembering is not mere nostalgia it is an act of survival.”
He is the Great Romantic who fills the sky with colors for no reason other than our pleasure. He created the ocean and filled it with living things for our pleasure. He wakes us up in the morning with songs..birds singing their hearts out for our pleasure.. just some reminders.. in case today is a day when you need them.
These photos were taken last night from my deck.. and no I don’t live in Hawaii! I wanted to share them with you so that you can remember.. so we can remember together that the larger story of God has a wonderful happy ending.
Yes.. today is Valentine’s Day.. the day we celebrate romance..flowers, cards, and candy are everywhere. Tonight there will be special dinners offered in restaurants and couples will get engaged or married on this most romantic of all holidays.
For some of us..this day is not easy. We may be alone or in an unhappy relationship. Our hearts feeling heavy as we long for something more. God created us to desire romance. He put those desires in our heart.. the longings we feel are His idea. So what do we do if we are heartbroken and feel forgotten? There is no easy answer.. but I can make some suggestions.
Find a way to connect with the heart of God. If you need to talk about your disappointments.. look for someone who will understand. If you are discouraged because you have been waiting and waiting and waiting, tell someone who will pray for you and help you on your journey. Remember His promises and His faithfulness..they are true for you and will never change. Look for those personal touches that come from the heart of God into your life. He is pursuing you today.. inviting you into the sacred romance that happens only between you and Him.
Our God is personal and your feelings matter to Him. His desire is to help you receive His love and to know down deep that He is pleased with you. His love does not depend upon your goodness or performance. God is a hopeless romantic and He loves you deeply no matter what. He is in love with you because He created you and you are the apple of His eye. Enjoy that truth today..allow it to go down deep into your heart.