A couple of ideas have been repeatedly popping up – usually a sign that it’s from God.
The first, is the idea, notion, truth that God is better.
He is better than anything this world could ever give me. Anything I could ever get for myself. Anything and everything. God is better.
The second, is this:
“It’s almost as if the God of the universe is proposing to you… It’s like He’s on a knee handing you this ring and saying, “Will you take Me? Will you enter into a relationship with Me, Almighty God?” And you’re gonna have to say, “I do.””
If I were to be honest with you, myself, God, and everybody, the truth is that Carleton hasn’t been the time of my life, so far. In fact, it’s been one of the most difficult, trying times, in large part due to my own folly, but that’s always how the story goes. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve shed more tears since I’ve been here than I have been in all my 20 years of existence. I have seen the worst parts of me, the sinful nature, the rebelliousness in my heart. And wow, is that scary. Before, I always threw that phrase, “sinful nature”, around, knowing that it existed, and it existed in me, but I never saw it’s ugly face until now. And it never looked so enticing until now.
Seeing it and following it are two different things. You can be tempted, but not give in to the temptation. You can see the evil face and turn away, or you can see it and walk towards it. I may have seen it, but I never wanted to walk towards it. But here, it’s undergone a makeover or something, and it’s all I can do to not be drawn in.
That scares me. At the same time, I rejoice, because it enables me to know more of God’s grace. If I did not have these struggles, I would have no need for grace. Always the paradox.
It gives me the opportunity to understand God’s love in a greater, deeper way. It’s so easy to forget that God is God and God is beyond our comprehension. It’s so much easier to just shrink God to something we can grasp. But in doing that, we shortchange ourselves, and deny the fullness of who God really is. Francis Chan talked about thinking he knew what God’s love was until one day he was led to try to imagine one of his beloved daughters being nailed to a cross. Think of the person you love the most, nailed to a cross. Being crucified. For doing nothing wrong. Would you allow it? God did. For you. For me. For all of us.
And God proposing to me? Wow. In a society where everyone’s looking for his/her prince/ss charming, that’s a really good picture. God begging you to take Him. Isn’t it absurd that God be begging us to take Him? He who loves perfectly, gives unselfishly, is perfect in every way? Yet He is begging us, because we keep saying no. I know I keep saying no. Why? Because I’ve got my eye on someone, my heart stuck on someone I want to love me and care for me, but that someone isn’t God. I like that God’s there, of course, and of course I’ll accept His love. But He’s giving it to me voluntarily, anyway, so I don’t pay much attention. Instead, I long for the acceptance and love of this one person, making everyone else second priority. I look at this person’s seeming apathy towards me and conclude that no one cares about me, when in fact, God’s blessed me with so many people who most definitely do. I am such a jerk. And what about God? God’s loving me, in His perfect way, unconditionally, unrelentingly, and here I am just giving Him an acknowledging nod and turning my head away, towards this other very imperfect, very broken person. Why? Why do we do that?!
So, I’m saying yes. Yes, I will take You, God, though, really, I should be the one screaming “thank You”, in disbelief. You want me? Why do you want me? But You want me. And that’s that. I want You too. I do.