It’s discouraging riding with training wheels again.
But that’s how we saw it, learning to live from a new paradigm.
Even if the new thing is something that sounds easy, like learning to live as one who is ALREADY LOVED instead of as one EARNING LOVE.
A friend and I talked about that today.
She read me her beautiful post On the Flip Side of Suffering, and we sat in my living room, sipping decaf and asking why it is so hard to simply BE. To simply RECEIVE love.
Especially God’s love.
It’s like we believe He loves us enough to save us from hell, then we’re supposed to earn His love from there on out. If we perform well enough, work hard enough, serve others often enough. Then we’ll deserve another measured dose of love.
Only love doesn’t work that way.
Love is freely given, no hooks, or it’s not really love.
We love because He first loved us.
God who IS love initiates the love cycle.
Once I experience love, then I can give it.
A book I’m reading says to approach God from the position of being “BELOVED.”
I know this. It’s not brand new theology. I seek daily to practice this paradigm I discovered several years ago.
I approach God as His BELOVED. I expect acceptance. I expect conversation. I expect joy and all those good things that happen when two people who adore each other hang out.
Unfortunately sometimes the old paradigm creeps into my live. I forget God WANTS to love me. Be with me. Bless me.
So my friend and I talked about training wheels even in this. Even in resting in grace, learning to be loved, it was hard, learning something new.
Then the Lord suggested we see it differently.
That we get off the bike and into the boat.
Learning to live as the beloved looks more like this:
We look in His face and let Him row the boat.
We journey as the beloved, enjoying the scenery, trusting He knows the way.
Until next time,
PS Tomorrow I’ll share my friend’s post, On the Flip Side of Suffering, in its entirety. It is lengthy but SO worth the read. You’re not going to want to miss it!
Tagged: beloved, God, God is love, love, romantic boat scene
“I approach God as one (of) His BELOVED.”
Paula, I was reading these words, thinking about the pictures – and suddenly realised: I approach God as His beloved. Not “one of” – no queue or pushing in – no being shoved to the back – no waiting. I approach God as His ONLY Beloved.
(and I know I am not – but I never realised that before!)
Thank you!! 🙂
Which is amazing and awesome!!
And makes me want to tell you a story.
One morning He awoke me with that old Dan Folgelberg song, “Longer.” It was very beautiful. I KNEW HE was singing me a love song. But I had the audacity to say, “But You love everybody that way, God. I want to be special.”
Then I had this sense (sometimes we hear with our understanding not our ears) that God is so big, infinite, amazing, that He has a very special place He connects with each of us that is unique to us and Him, different than the way He relates to anyone else in the whole wide world. Special. Unique. THE beloved.
WOW! The beloved. You make my heart sing! As I tapped out my words, I had a moment of thinking “this will read very arrogantly” – and then thinking “but it’s true” and pressing Reply.
I like that picture. Makes me feel safe.
I can’t wait for tomorrow.
Joy to you
I’m glad! You’re gonna love tomorrow’s post. Cheryl’s words are so full of truth and epiphany. I can’t wait for you to read it!
Paula, read Cheryl’s words first, then came back here. How could God NOT love each of us uniquely? We didn’t come off of an assembly line. He created us uniquely, therefore, he must love our unique character and ways. We have grown in Him differently, taken different paths – He must look at us each with eyes of love and compassion, yet know our individual struggles and heart connection to Him. As you said, His capacity to love is huge – beyond our comprehension. I don’t doubt for a minute He knows every hair on our heads. ❤
“I don’t doubt for a minute He knows every hair on our heads.” Grinning big and adding–and loves each one of those, too. Every piece of us He loves.