Friday, March 27, 2009

Because of love...

As I begin writing today, it's after 11 p.m. and the man I love and have been married to for nearly 30 years, and the son I adore, are still at work. They have been working since 6:30 a.m. and they, along with several others, are trying to complete a job before tomorrow morning.

It is pouring rain outside and it's a Friday night, and my heart is more "there" with them, than "here" at home.

Only when you genuinely love someone is it possible to empathize fully with their circumstances--to weep when they weep, to laugh when they laugh, to rejoice when they rejoice--to sleep when they sleep!

Today's scriptures are 1 Samuel chapters 14 and 15, passages that explain another example of Saul's disobedience to The Lord. Through Samuel, God told Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites because of what they had done to Israel after their escape from captivity in Egypt.

Rather than destroying everything as instructed, Saul kept the best of their livestock, sheep, lambs, and virtually everything that he didn't deem worthless, and he also allowed King Agag to live. God was so upset with Saul's disobedience that he told Samuel he regretted having made Saul king. And despite Saul's admission of guilt, Samuel had to remind him that obedience is better than any sacrifice in God's eyes.

Interestingly, the Bible explains that Samuel was so grieved by God's rejection of Saul that he cried all night long. God was hurt, so Samuel was hurt.

When the things that hurt God also hurt us, it is evident that we genuinely love him. Our culture is so work and performance driven that this sometimes conveys to the spiritual realm, causing us to forget that not one "thing" we do means anything if our heart doesn't truly beat for God--hurting when he hurts, being offended by what offends him, rejoicing and celebrating over the things that please him.

Just as my heart is not going to be settled until my husband and son are safely home tonight, my heart isn't settled when I know there is something out of kilter in my relationship with God. In chapter 16 when God sent Samuel to anoint a new king, Samuel was told that it would be one of Jesse's sons. When Samuel saw Jesse's tall, handsome son, Eliab, he thought for sure that he was the one.

In one of the most compelling passages of scripture, God reminds Samuel that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart--and for that reason, the good-looking guy wasn't to be king.

Now (as then) God looks inside--at the heart. He knows whether I serve him out of obligation, guilt, coercion or love. My deepest and most sincere hope is that when he sees me, he sees true love. And that is my prayer for you as well.

Father, please protect George and David and the others who are working late tonight and bring them home safely so my heart and mind can rest. And as I wait, I pray you are pleased by my heart that beats with love and praise for You, The Lord of Heaven's Armies, for it is in you alone that I have life and the ability to love at all. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment