The Furious Love of God

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Big changes are brewing in my life and I'm trying to cling to pieces of my sanity and ability to cope. However, not sleeping well leads to not feeling great, which leads to not coping well with minor frustrations, disappointments and setbacks in life. It is overall, a really vicious cycle that I've existed in for about two years, thanks to third shift. This week, though, it came to a head around Tuesday afternoon when I got some rather unpleasant news, which lead me to behave like a brat, throw a lovely little pity party (see previous post about that), and overall just be big cry baby about the whole thing. A strong dose of perspective came along soon enough, but the reality was, I did not cope well.

In fact, Tuesday night found my emotional dumping on God was the farthest thing from sanctified. I was angry at God and I let him know. I carried on, throwing angry questions, crying, fussing, whining, and kicking and screaming like a two year old who doesn't get her way. I have to clarify that I tell you this to ensure that you are aware that this was not a pretty "Jesus Loves Me" cliche thankfulness. It was ugly, I was ugly. I even managed to throw some of this ugliness onto a couple of people I truly care about deeply and that, of course, made me feel worse when the dust of my temper tantrum settled. As I kicked and screamed, I could feel that gentle tug of the Holy Spirit working in my heart to unhinge the frustration I was feeling, and when he managed to slowly steal over my spirit with His peace, I cried. I cried tears of honest joy.

See, here I had offended those around me. I'd hurt feelings, and probably risked damaging a tenuous growing relationship and harming other stronger one. The damage had been done. And humans react differently. They withdraw and pull back from my sharp claws and unkind words. Which, of course, leaves me feeling wrecked even further. And God, well, God doesn't. With all my kicking and screaming and truly ugly thoughts and words, He doesn't get offended. He doesn't ever become overwhelmed by my brattiness. He knows me. He loves me through it, in it and loves me truthfully, right out of it. As Brennan Manning states God has the one singular and relentless stance towards my heart - He loves me furiously. In the storm of my emotions, His storm of love is stronger.

Beth Moore once said "God is never overwhelmed by you." I cannot tell you how powerfully that flows over my wildly emotional feminine heart. People pull back, and say things like "I'm going to leave you alone now" - because of my bad behavior, or try to get up close and I become more prickly than a porcupine and they simply get overwhelmed by me. Or I come on too strongly - big bombastic opinions, and attitudes that are far from sweet and closer to horrible human being -- and people are overwhelmed. Men I know and have cared for have told me that I come on too strongly, that I should "tone it down" or "dumb down" if I'm ever going to not be single...but God loves me anyway, he's never overwhelmed by the sheer passion that drives me to crazy anxieties, ridiculous thoughts and negative thinking spirals. He loves me relentlessly. His spirit continues to minister to me and work with gentle floods of love that sweep in and unexpectedly soothe the hurts, and assuage the thunderous emotions that threaten to boil over.

This week, as I sat and railed at God about circumstances in my insignificant little life and dwelled in selfishness and pessimism, God's spirit crept in. He whispered truth in the deep places, calling me to deeper places, riding the tides of those emotions that threatened to drag me into lies - he pervaded the corners of my heart with Truth. And God enveloped me each step of the wasn't an overwhelming STOP of the was a slow process, working through me one small piece at at time.

When it was done, I was able to sit before my Father, cry big crocodile tears and know that he wasn't offended. He wasn't holding this against me the way other people do. When I apologized, He agreed with me on the bad behaviors, but he didn't hold it against me and never would. He acknowledged a contrite spirit, forgave me and spoke acceptance into my heart. So before you, I sit here today in gratitude of a Love bigger than any human love.

People don't react to us this way. They roll their eyes at us, they hold grudges, never offer grace, don't accept apologies proffered, allow you to find absolution in their eyes other ways, and generally become offended and carry hurt feelings around. It's human to respond this way. God does not. He loves furiously. He accepts unconditionally. He forgives relentlessly. And I know I don't deserve it.

This week, if God had been a human parent, I'd have been punished harshly for my bratty and unkind behaviors. I'm thankful He's not human. I'm thankful that He's God and He loves me more and more at every turn. I'm thankful that in EVERY single incident in my life, God is continuing to show me new ways He loves me. This week humbled me greatly - not just because recognizing your failings is humbling, but because I learned how relentlessly and furiously God loves me.

"Yes, I have loved you with an Everlasting Love..." - Jer. 31:3


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