The God I serve is not distant or far removed. He is not like the "Great and Powerful Oz" stuck behind a curtain, only to be experienced in some vague form from afar. No, that is not the God I serve. That is not the God who created the universe, knit me in my Mother's womb and has numbered each hair on my head. He is intimately, passionately involved in the details and most minuscule nuances of my life.
When I consider the depth of love that God has lavished on me I am awe struck and breathless. I am so unworthy, so undeserving of the magnitude of His grace. I am a repeat offender of the most egregious sins. Yet, somehow, God loves me. In spite of making mistake after mistake He still has shown a mercy that is unfathomable to me. I don't deserve all the goodness that he has poured out on me, yet He hasn't been the least bit stingy. He has showered on me blessings in such great abundance that I couldn't write them all even if I had the whole New York Public Library to store the books the lists would fill. His favor is unmeasurable, incalculable, beyond mere words.
Today as I ran along the path at the Peninsula, I surveyed my beautiful surroundings. A picture perfect day painted the sky a perfect baby blue with not a cloud in sight. The air smelled of fall yet the temperature still felt like the end of summer. The trees overhead enveloped me like a hug, their green leaves cooling me with a gentle breeze and shading me from the warm sun. The bay was still and calm, dotted with the sail boats and peaceful kayakers. The scene around me was of pure bliss. My heart couldn't help but feel light and free.
There, on that path, I experienced the overwhelming joy of being loved and cared for by Christ. Me - with all of my past of sin, my tendency toward loneliness and frustration, my mistakes and regrets - I am a beloved, cherished child of God, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Redeemer, Messiah. Nothing can diminish His love for me. Nothing can destroy that love. It is forever. It is unconditional. It is magnificent!
That love has brought me from death to life: dead in my transgressions, alive through the salvation of Jesus Christ. He loves me that much. Even before I loved Him in return, He poured out His love to me. I didn't do anything to earn it or deserve it. I could never do anything to merit the love that He has to give. The beauty is that He doesn't expect me to earn it. He knows I can't. But He still loves me anyway.
He is dedicated to restoring my soul and drawing me closer to Him. He desires to be intimately involved in my life. He has come into my soul and given me life. His breath has become my breath. I am not my own, but I am His and He is living through me.
As I ran I felt His presence all around me. Months ago I could have never imagined running with such ease but He has carried me to this place. He has, once again, shown His love to be powerful and overwhelming. He has defied my comprehension in restoring not only my soul, but my body, too. When I look at the road He has taken me on and the brilliance of the plan I am left awe struck. He knew all along the path that would lead me to this place. It was His love that let me suffer in moments of pain and weakness. That suffering drew me closer to Him. Through my pain He was able to reach deeper into my heart and show me how He can heal me. Without the open wounds I might have not been as willing and ready to have Him do His work. But I desperately wanted His touch. I needed, and still need, His healing and gracious hand upon me every hour of every day.
By grace He has forgiven me for my stumbling and lack of faith. He has never given up on this wayward child. He has done just the opposite. He has come alongside me and carried me when I was too weak, scared or timid to continue on. He has stooped down, cradled me in His arms and shown me the power of His love. There is nothing more in this world I could ever hope to experience, achieve or attain.
God has poured out everything for me and I, in return, want to give Him my whole life. May it be used for His kingdom and His glory. For He is more precious than silver or gold, more powerful than the fiercest of storms. He is the maker of Heaven and earth and the sustainer of this little child's soul. The depth of His love and care for me takes my breath away. I am forever speechless in the presence of my King.