Sunday, March 11, 2012

In Awful and Surprising Truth

 I sometimes think that I don't matter to God.

I feel like God has checked me off His list, like, OK, now that I've saved Emma's eternal soul, I can put her over there and let her do her thing. She'll figure it out eventually. In my mind, God has essentially put me into daycare while He does much more important things. I feel like everything is up to me because I shouldn't bother God with my small heartbreaks and nosebleeds and temper tantrums. I take what seems like God's silence as forgetfulness.

Well Emma, let me be the first to tell you that you're completely wrong!

In one of the Elisabeth Elliot's books, she says that Christ must be our first love. I used to think that meant that Christ was the one we loved first, as in a fixed point in time. Like He was a high school sweetheart. Um wow Emma you have some really stupid preconceived notions about theology. Reading that book, it struck me like a lightning bolt. First love means the epicenter, the core, the foundation of all other loves. My love for Christ should inform my love for everything else, and it should inform me about Christ's love for me. After all, "we love because He first loved us."

As this realization washed over me, I felt troubled. Christ is not my first love. I am my first love.

I cried out to God. Help me fall in love with you. I can't bring anything. Almost immediately, I strongly felt the need to read about Christ, to learn about Him. To rediscover what He did for sinners, and for me. I began to research God's promises.

This brings me back to my first point: feeling forgotten. God doesn't put me into daycare. God is effecting all of His promises on me -- to prosper, to complete His work, to protect, to strengthen, to save. The Bible says nothing about God upholding His word when it's convenient for Him. It says that His steadfast love endures forever and He will not forsake the work of His hands.
"In awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the "lord of terrible aspect," is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist's love for his work and despotic as a man's love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father's love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes." -C.S. Lewis