And then I think of the fact that she was not the only one whispered to in a moment of doubt and fear, uncertainty and wonder. All those emotions competing, along with amazement and joy, elation and astonishment. I experienced those emotions. I believe every child of God at that moment of wooing from the Holy Spirit, that moment of surrender to the love of God feels all of those sentiments and more. We wonder, is this really true? Have you really chosen me? Will I carry the fullness of your Spirit in me? How can you love me? Doubt and desire. Fear and faith. All of these swirling through us, until we stop and listen. We hear that still small voice speak to us of a heavenly appointment. It has been appointed that here and now we are His. We are a child of the Most High God. And suddenly, we not only hear it, we know it. Relief, and elation; rejoicing and exultation. Tears and laughter.
I know who I was before Christ. I'm reading a book by Jared C. Wilson right now called "Unparalleled". It is about Christianity's uniqueness and how that makes it compelling in a world of counterfeits. In a chapter titled Broken Mirrors he speaks of how "we are broken, wonderful, sacred creatures. And we are sinful, broken, disobedient rebels." He then goes on to quote "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved." And how if we really look at ourselves that often 'we are worse than we think we are, but that we are more loved than we know'. He goes on to say, "It is the reason that Christians tuned in to the freedom found in Christ are so often remarkably confident while at the same time remarkably humble. They feel in their bones that they are both deeply broken people and deeply loved people. This kind of thinking must have a profound effect on us."
Certainly one thing Jesus has done is have a profound effect on me. I was a selfish, often unkind jerk before coming to Christ, but I didn't really know that. And now after Christ, I am sometimes selfish, unkind and a jerk but I am aware of it and and grieves me. I am grieved that I, a child of God, a sacred mirror of Him am, forgive my crude words, often a craphead. But where before I was unaware and uncaring, I am now repentant and strive to be a better representation of my God. I often have very honest conversations with Him. I apologize for my behavior and know that He forgives me for my crapheadedness. And that He loves me even in my crapheadedness. That nothing, neither life nor death, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, nor powers nor height nor depth, nor my crapheadedness can separate me from the love of God. (Gail's version of Romans 8:38-39)
All humor aside, and believe me God must have a sense of humor to love me unconditionally; I am so grateful and thankful that He chose me. He knew, He knows and He will forever know who and what I am. And to Him, because of the blood of His Son, I am always a child of God. And that is why when I listen to Christmas music, when I think of all He has done I just want to worship Him. I want to make sure that He knows how much I love Him. How filled with gratitude I am that He loved me before I knew Him. That He formed me with care and affection to become a Christ follower. I believe He waited with baited breath for that moment that I said "Yes" and then He and the angels threw a party to celebrate.
Oh, here I am again, crying. I am so glad you cannot see me right now. Tears flowing, as well as snot. So not glamorous. But He doesn't care about that. His heart is a heart that just wants His child to love Him. What joy and delight He takes in that. Some who don't know Him say that He must be like a puppet master or that we are robots with no free will. Created to be His minions. They don't know the bible and they don't know my God. He is a father with arms open just waiting for His child to run into them. He is like that father in the maternity room, waiting for that baby to pop out, to finally hold His child. He is that dad that takes his child to the first day of school and waits until they enter the classroom and then blinks rapidly as the tears come. He is that parent whose child has been away and is coming home for the holidays. He listens for the car and then rushes to the door to let him enter. That is my God. That is the God of the bible. That is the God who came one Christmas in human form, a helpless baby. Born from God's love to die because of God's love. For me, for you.
Quotes from Unparalled by Jared C. Wilson pages 98, 109, 110