Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Last Night...

(This is cross-posted from my other blog Conversations from the Back Porch. I realize that not everyone who reads this blog is Christian or religious at all, but I still want to share this part of myself, so here goes!)

For about a year I've been going to First and Calvary in Springfield. It's a wonderful Presbyterian church with a fantastic college ministry. I stumbled upon it when my friend David "invited" me (good story, but for another time) and I really haven't left since then. It's a place where I'm loved, nurtured, and feel free to be myself. So needless to say, I think finding a good community is essential to our growth and development as Christians. That fact courses through all of Paul's writings (and the rest of the Bible too, but Paul's just more specific about it), but it's not anything that Paul has written that makes me believe it. It's the changes I've seen in my life because of it.

That's the end of my plug for church for today. I actually want to talk about something different. I want to talk about an amazing experience I had last night.

On Tuesday nights we have our college service. We always do something fun and interesting and I almost always learn something new, thought provoking, and growth stimulating. So last week (I wasn't there) the group did an exercise where they wrote letters to themselves from God about what God might want to say to them over the next year. It sounds a bit strange to think about writing a letter to you from God, but it turned out to be really productive. When the service was over, everyone handed their letters over to the ministry staff, who spent the next week raking through them for common themes which were shared last night. It was such an incredible experience, and I believe I encountered God's voice for the first recognizable time in my life last night.

Here are the common themes that ran through these letters:

1. God consistently uses consisten expressions of love. Each of these letters had emphatic, tender expressions of God's love for us as if we might forget and need reminders.
2. God expresses hopefulness about our future and asks us to do the same. The letters all suggested that we should be patient and rest assured that there is indeed a wonderful plan for our lives.
3. God expressed our need for discipline, consistency, and mindfulness. It was never forceful or abrasive, but God seemed to want us all to know that this is an area we can and should work on, especially as school begins.
4. God promised provision. All of our needs will be accounted for, so we need not worry.
5. God always spoke words of encouragement and strength.
6. God used many affectionate words in these letters. Clearly, God not only loves us. He likes us!
7. God clearly has a purpose for us as individuals. We were all created uniquely and God wants us to display our uniqueness as we go after our common goal as the body of Christ.
8. Trust. God asks us to trust him and expressed that He can be trusted.
9. God wants us to know that we have nothing to fear in the future. Everything is manageable with Him.
10. There was a lot of language about remembrance, suggesting that our struggle isn't about learning new things but about implementing what we already know to be true but don't live according to.
11. We have every reason to be hopeful in God.

As I copied down this list, I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Spirit. It seemed to me that the theme running through all of this list is that God wants to know us!

It seems like God is longing for us. God seemed to take the opportunity that arose last week to really reach into our lives and tell us. I really felt God's desire to know me last night, like my heart was being tugged towards a deeper relationship with an infinitely loving being. It was the strangest and most incredible feeling!

That's all I really wanted to share. God is longing, pining, starving for a relationship with us! He loves us! It's a beautiful thought to me, and I hope to you as well.


Anonymous said...

I like to think of God as my father and I his daughter. We have a very close relationship filled with love and respect.

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting how one might define God. Be it a man with a beard, a woman of creation... or the spirit that moves through our earth. Maybe God is all of the above, and to want a relationship with us... would mean we have a relationship with everything.

That we would not neglect a blade of grass no more than we would neglect a philosophical ideal debated in some college setting.

Somewhere we are taught that God is distant and far from us, and its only through remembering, or careful forgeting, that there are no boundries or seams to seperate us.