Monday, November 20, 2006

Precious and Glorious?!?!

I have been thinking and praying all morning about some situations and some people that are really tugging, and some even yanking, on my heart. After mass and spending some time praying in the chapel, I decided to listen to a talk by Fr. Larry Richards, who led our parish mission last November. Wow, it was full of so much insight and wisdom that I am going to have to listen to it at least 3 or 4 more times so I can "get it"!

Here's the thing that is sticking out to me and that prompted me to start a blog: he shared about how he has struggled with accepting God's love for him. He shared that he had a reputation for being arrogant and aggressive and while he had a hard time with that what was even more difficult was that he knew God knew all those things about him and still loved him. God had called him to priesthood. God had chosen Fr. Larry knowing fully everything about him, the good, the bad and the embarassing, and he not only chose him, but he loves him. Fr. Larry then goes on to say that he spent some time reading Isaiah 43: 1-5 and praying about it. What struck him, and what is really calling out to me, is verse 4 which says "Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious, and because I love you..." and I'm thinking whoa! Precious and glorious, now that is some serious love, here's the thing though, it doesn't stop there....because we are precious in God's eyes and we are glorious and because he loves us, it goes on to say that "I give people in return for you and nations in exchange for your life."

Are you kidding me?

I can't help but wonder if he really knew that I was going to come along when this scripture was written. If he knew that I would be broken and deeply wounded, thatI would try everything in my power to separate myself from him. Did he know that and still say I was precious and glorious? (in another version of the Bible they use the word honored in place of glorious, either way it's way more than I deserve)

The answer is yes! He knew me even then, thousands of years ago. Is that some craziness or what? Okay, so he knew all that about me and he promised that he would "give people in return for me and nations in exchange for my life." Jinkies! That is no joke!!! So here's the thing God doesn't just love us, he tells us we are precious and glorious. Then he doesn't just leave us with those words but he shows us.

For me he did that by sending people in to my life and directing me to situations where his presence and plan were so obvious I could no longer deny them. I said that I was determined to separate myself from God. I didn't want him to see my ugliness or the ways I had disrespected myself and others. God had said he would give nations in exchange for me, a promise like that means that he is always extending his hand to me, to us. He is reaching out and longing for us to reach back at all times and especially when we are feeling lost, when we are wondering why we have seen, done, been, felt all that we have. He knows where we've been and all that has happened in our lives. Here is what may be even more difficult to grasp, he sees and knows about all our crap... but when he looks at each one of us all he knows is love.

I don't deserve it, I'm definitely not worthy, but still he loves me. It took a while, but eventually I accepted his love. I'm still not deserving, but that doesn't matter. Through prayer, the sacraments, and the people he has sent in to my life, I continue to grow closer to him and strengthen our bond. There are still weaknesses and I know that I could slip at any time, but that is what keeps me determined to hang on tight and never again turn my back on him.

What about you? Are you holding on to God's hand? have you turned your back on him? or are you standing before him but not willing to take his hand? If you feel a separation from God I really want to challenge you to look at the reason why. Pray about what is holding you back and talk to an adult that you trust. God isn't able to physically give you a hug, but I believe that is why he sent people in to your life who can. Accept their love and hugs and know that they are from God.

I just want to end this in a short prayer.

Lord, I have been broken and hurt, at times I have separated myself from you. Help me to accept your love and grab your hand and hold on tight. Amen

note: this was written a few months ago and moved over from an old site


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