Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Behold, He Knocks

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Luke 11:9,10

One of the things that I have been asking God the last few weeks is what he wants from me. What is it that he would have me do for him? I've gone through it all, I've prayed that wherever he wants, I'll go, whatever he wants me to do, I'll do. If we're to stay right here and continue on as we are, I'll do that to. And I guess, when God answered me, I expected some kind of direction. Not the answer I believe I received as I slept this morning.

I had a dream. And in this dream I was preparing to walk home. I was younger, I knew I was about to be married, had a ring on my finger and I was excited to be married. I was working in a school situation of some kind, and for some reason, I was sitting on a bench, the school day had ended, and I was stuffing a lot of stuff into two backpacks that I had- and it was obvious that it wasn't all going to fit. Then a man sat down next to me and started to make small talk. Before I knew what happened, he offered to walk with me, and began putting what didn't fit in my bags into his bag. So we started our walk. It was a long walk, apparently, and we meandered all over, talking and being friendly. After a while he started asking more personal questions and before long I was sharing intimate details about my life, my family, growing up, getting married. I don't recall him actually saying much other than asking question, and I just felt like answering and emptying my soul to this strange man. And it was comfortable.

After a while of walking and baring my soul, I asked him where he was from, and he grinned and said Wisconsin. To which, I informed him that I was from Wisconsin and I would be moving back there in a few weeks. He just smiled in a way that suggested that he knew that. We arrived at my house where he made himself comfortable in the living room with my housemates. I headed out to the garden to check on my new compost pile and see what was going on. While I was in the garden, I became overwhelmed by all the bugs and insects and worms, they creeped me out. And then it was like one of those horror movie scenes, where everywhere I looked or turned I saw something that looked like a giant snake or gross bugs, and I started whimpering and then managed to let out a yell. In the blink of an eye, my new friend was there, and he took my hand and led me out of the garden. I thanked him profoundly, and at that moment he told me that he thought he should be on his way. I offered to see him to the street, and as we walked my heart was filled with incredible sadness. I was fiercely and desperately in love with this man, this stranger who spent just an afternoon with me. I was still going to be married, but there was something about this man, he had every ounce of my heart- I felt like if he told me to fly, I could fly. My heart was quickly filling with sadness and loss as this man prepared to leave. And as I opened my mouth to say something to that effect, he turned, grinned at me, and then I woke up.

You know that moment when you feel you've woken too early from a great dream? For a second, that was me, and then I felt that loss tug at me, and I knew that this wasn't just a dream with a ruined ending. After a quick prayer of thanks to God, I began thinking about this dream, and asking God to show me what the different parts mean. And I still don't know all of it, but I do know this. God answered my question of what he wants from me. He wants my heart. He wants all of it. The profound love that filled me in my dream for this strange man was a different love than the one that I loved my fiance with. This was an all-consuming love. I felt complete and whole and safe with this man. When I was in the garden experiencing fear and desperation, one touch from him and I was safe and sound again. And that man was God.

God wanted to help shoulder my burdens before He even really knew me. He wanted to escort me about my business, walk with me, and talk with me. And even after he knew all the dirty dark secrets of my past, he still wanted to be with me, and even saved me when I needed saving. He listened to all I had to say, without even one word of judgement or criticism. Our God is a God of love. Should it be so shocking that what he wants from us, more than anything is our love in return?

"He said: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way" 2 Chronicles 6:14

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever." Psalm 52:8

I said a few weeks ago that I wanted to be like Mary. I wanted to wait at His feet to see what he has to say to me. What I missed, or maybe forgot, was that she didn't just sit there, petulent and patient. She sat there and loved. She loved with all her heart, the God whose feet she waited at.

"And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

14That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil." Deuteronomy 11:13,14

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