The awesomeness of God is all-encompassing, and one of the billion things I love about serving the Great I Am is the ability to see my relationship with Him in multiple ways. I remember as a young woman, new to the faith, I found great comfort in the Father Heart aspect of God. As a product of past rejection from an earthly father, it gave me peace to have a Heavenly Dad who would never leave me. Since then I’ve learned to dive deeper into the multifaceted faces of the Lord, and I’ve found lasting relationship in my explorations. At times, He is my groom, the lover of my soul. Other times, a brother, a friend. I’ve even found peace with verses describing the Lord like a nursing mother, even though modern religion would raise us to see God as male only. The thing is, God is so much more. My Savior is everything. But this morning the Holy Spirit spoke a new description to my heart, and I found it so wonderful that I wanted to share.
This morning I was listening to worship music, meditating on the words and my relationship with the Lord, when I felt the Holy Spirit impress these words to my heart.
I’m courting you. It’s like a long distance relationship.
I’ll admit that made me chuckle at first. I mean, if ever there was a relationship I stunk at, it was a long distance one, but as I thought on it more, the comparison made perfect sense. After all, I couldn’t see Jesus, but I knew I loved Him. In fact, the love was so deep and powerful, it often times made me weep with joy. No one had ever made me feel that way.
My past experience with a long distance relationship as a woman in my early twenties had not gone well. He was a great guy, but the distance didn’t make my heart grow fonder; it only made it grow lonely. I mentioned that early rejection previously, and I’m sure that had a lot to do with my need for affection. I felt as if I needed almost constant reassurance and proof of love. I needed to hear the words, and I needed the physical touch. With a thousand miles separating me and this particular fella, it didn’t bode well. I found proximal affection in someone within my zip code, and because of my unfaithfulness, the distant relationship fell apart.
The thing is, something wild happened when I entered a relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t immediate, but more aptly developed over time. It seemed that the more time I spent with the Lord in prayer and reading His love letters to me in scripture, the less I needed that aforementioned affirmation. I knew Jesus loved me. I knew it deep down in my soul. I didn’t need a physical hand holding mine because His Holy Spirit was with me always, and in the lonely times when I couldn’t feel His presence, all I had to do was revisit those love letters in the Bible. They reminded me of His unending affections.
As a young woman I had problems with my self esteem, but once I began a relationship with Christ I knew my worth in Him. I knew in my heart that He adored me, that I was precious to Him, and that despite what I may mess up, He loved me unconditionally.
When you look at your life on earth from a kingdom perspective, knowing that this life is but a breath, and eternity in Heaven is the ultimate goal, you can wonder what your purpose is in this short spell on earth. This morning the Lord reminded me that a main purpose is to develop my relationship with Him. It’s like a long distance courtship, in that I cannot look into the face of my Savior just yet, but it’s a wonderful experience falling deeper in love with Him before the wedding. One day the church will stand before the bridegroom, but we won’t stand at the altar as strangers in some arranged marriage. We will be in the presence of the one we have grown to love deeply. I can remember standing at the altar with my husband. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him; I was so enamored and full of happiness! Can you imagine the joy we will feel on our eternal wedding day?!
In my life on earth I am courting for the greatest relationship of all times. As I make my way through a fallen world full of sin and hardship, I am drawn into the strong arms of Jesus. He comforts me in my trouble. In earthly wedding vows they say things about promising to stick it out through good times and bad times, but many marriages will end in divorce because the couple can’t make it through the bad times together. In our relationship with the Lord we are afforded the bad news first, so to speak. We learn to love Him through the brokenness of this world, and in that we begin to understand all that He can be for us. We spend an average of 72 years learning how to love deeply and unconditionally, through richer or poorer, through sickness and health, and then we are given the ultimate wedding gift and feast as our reward. An eternity with the One who never left our side through it all. In that sense, it’s the furthest thing from long distance there is.
As for now, although I cannot stand before Him, I love Him. Although I can’t see His face, I feel His heart for me. Even though we exist on different realms, so to speak, He never leaves me or forsakes me. My goal in (this) life is to love Him deeper, and to raise my children the same. To show the world the light of His love, and to prepare for the wedding that I know is one day coming.