Thursday, June 17, 2010

Crazy Love: Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of the book was not quite as overly powerful to me as the first two chapters, but I will admit I am tired tonight, so it's quite possible that I missed some of the power because of that. I think I'll go back & re-read the chapter tomorrow when I'm more awake and see what I missed. I really wanted to read it tonight, though, so here's what I got from my half-asleep stupor.

The chapter is titled 'Crazy Love', like the title of the book. The focus of the chapter was to express God's crazy, extravagant, overwhelming love for us. But like things go when trying to describe God, it's nearly impossible to really put into words (or to comprehend!) the love of God for us. The author describes the way his heart swells when his children run out into the driveway to greet him when he drives home from work, how they call out his name & smile and chase after his car until he steps out & they can reach him to hug him. He describes God's love for us as something similar to that. Only it is He who is driving in from work & it is us that He so deeply desires to have a relationship with, one where we want to run after Him & squeal His name and wrap our arms around Him at first sight. He notes Matthew 7:11 which says "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!"

Mr. Chan talks about having a daily quiet time (Bible reading, prayer). He talks about being taught to do this as a child, but having always done it into adult hood only sporadically & mostly out of guilt that he "should be doing that", but out of a desire to do it. That describes me to a "T". As a kid, I know that we always discussed it in Sunday School and at church camp, there was always a built-in quiet 15-20 minutes where the whole camp was supposed to get on their bed & spend some time reading & praying. I remember always laying there, staring at my open Bible while my mind wandered into game time or a million other fun things that were coming up in the day. I had no idea WHAT to read or how to have a quiet time. It just didn't come naturally, so as I got older & had no one watching me or expecting me to do it, I just stopped. It wasn't until I was married & becoming a mother that I began to desire & hunger for a time with God every day. I don't doubt my faith in all those in between years, but I know that having a quiet time just wasn't something on my radar for a long time & I survived on whatever I got at church on Sunday morning all week. Several years ago, I remember going to a ladies' retreat & sitting there during the praise & worship time with tears running down my cheeks. I was overwhelmed with grief that I wasn't spending THAT KIND OF TIME with my Savior every day. I wanted to be that intimate with Him all the time, but it just didn't seem to work. Like Paul describes in Romans 7, I desperately wanted to do what I knew was right (spending that time with God daily) but my flesh made it so difficult. It was so much easier to sleep late or veg in front of the computer or read a novel or watch TV (or anything else!) than to sit down & read my Bible. And yet, over and over, for several years, I'd come before Him in a moment of worship & beg forgiveness all over again..."I'm still not doing it God. What is wrong with me??". Again & again I would commit to Him that I'd sit down & do it, you know...starting tomorrow.

It wasn't until a couple years ago that I really got into a habit of working it into my daily schedule and focusing on it. I decided to start at Genesis 1:1 and read through the Bible one chapter at a time. I know it's not chronologically accurate that way, but in my typical OCD fashion, it was the only way to do it. It wasn't long before I was in the habit of having my quiet time and really missed it when I didn't do it. When a day rolls around that I don't read my Bible & pray, I long for it. I ache for the days to get back in gear so that I can fit it into my schedule again! And that's exciting to me!

But what's more fun is realizing that God is on the other end of that excitement, standing in His 'driveway', watching me run toward Him squealing His name....and He's smiling, holding His arms open for me, too!

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