Thursday, July 17, 2008

God likes me?

"Does God like you?" I asked a five-year-old little girl. She stifled a grin. She is a compassionate soul. "Yep," she said easily, confidently, certainly. "How do you know?" "Because of the way he talks to me. He just likes me. I recognize it in his voice."

I want to have faith like a child. I want to know that God likes me. He finds joy in me. Doesn't that sound sacrilegious even? Sure God loves me--but he likes me? He wants to spend time with me? He likes me? I asked a friend of mine the other day if they had ever dwelt on the fact that God finds joy in him. And they just kind of laughed and said "right..." I said, "No, seriously do you ever when you're feeling down, focus and meditate on the fact that God finds joy in you and likes you?" "Ming, when I think about God and what he thinks of me or his feelings towards me, I normally think that He's not happy with me because I keep messing up."

Sadly, I know how they feel. All to often I look at what I've done, my screw ups, my emotions that run all over the place, my sin, and I don't expect God to come running out to meet me when I get home. I don't expect a loving father ready to meet me with open arms and a shoulder for me to cry on. One that says, "Rejoice! My daughter is home!" That kind of love, acceptance, and grace--doesn't make sense. A father who is standing at the end of the drive-way with a scowl on his face with hardened eyes to meet me makes more sense. A father who says, "I love you, but don't think you can get away with this, there will be consequences. I love you, but you're going to have to earn my trust back. You're going to have to work for this." That makes sense to me.

I don't get God. He doesn't make sense to me.

I can say that I understand his love and grace--but I really don't. I don't understand this scandalous love and the conspiracy of this grace. I try to put His love in boxes, something I can understand, something I can grasp and explain.

Because I can't explain the love of the Father.

His love has tendrils that reach so much farther than I could ever dream.

I stumble home, beaten, bruised, ashamed, rejected, dirty, stained. My Father comes running out takes me in his arms. I try to struggle to get free from his embrace--I don't deserve this! I don't deserve this love! I try to get free, this doesn't make sense! He just holds me tighter until I can't fight anymore and just collapse sobbing in his arms. He whispers in my ear, "I love you Ming.....welcome home." And then screams for all of heaven to hear, "REJOICE! She's home!"

I don't get that love. It doesn't make sense.

But it's changed my life. That much I know.

You ran out to meet me, broken and needy.
You wrap me in Your robes of royalty.

For in the quiet you whisper my name
As a father to a son coming home once again
And my response to your passionate call
Is to humble myself and give you my all

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