I had an interesting moment with God recently.
It was Saturday. It was the first Saturday in a month where I was able to sleep in, and a big deal because Saturday’s are the only day during the week I’m able to sleep in. I figured I’d take advantage of having a rare lazy Saturday by staying up later on Friday night to accomplish a few tasks. I stayed up past Midnight and looked forward to sleeping in for awhile the next morning.
Skip ahead a few hours.
I crack open my eyes at the first sight of sun pouring through my window. I groggily leaned over to my floor and picked up my cell phone to check the time, hoping I’d finally caught up on my sleep after a crazy busy few weeks of late nights and early mornings.
It was 7:00 am.
“Noooooo” I quietly groaned.
I have this weird thing where once I’m awake in the morning, I can’t get back to sleep. It’s like my body’s own personal alarm clock that screams at me to get up and get ready for work.
Only it wasn’t time for work. It was Saturday. And I was exhausted.
“That was a good idea while it lasted,” I thought to myself, “maybe I can just lay here for awhile with my eyes shut and at least pretend. Fake rest is better than no rest at all…”
As I laid there, I grabbed my sheets, pulled them over to my face and rolled over with my eyes tightly shut. Perhaps pretending to sleep would trick my body into thinking I wasn’t really as exhausted as I felt.
At least that’s what I told myself.
I decided to take the opportunity while all was so peaceful and silent to just listen for the voice of the Lord and see if He had anything to say to me. Often times, His voice rings the loudest when I’m completely still and give Him the opportunity to speak.
So I laid there. And laid there. And laid there. And laid there.
Then, after five minutes of laying there… nothing happened.
“Well if You aren’t gonna say anything God, can You at least sprinkle some magic dust and help me get back to sleep or something?”
I was frustrated.
I figured I stay there and wallow in apathy for at least ten more minutes, then grab myself a cup of coffee and at least attempt to do something productive with my morning —if it was totally necessary that I was awake to see it.
“I love you.”
I suddenly popped one eye open.
After trying to hear the voice of the Lord for several minutes without anything, this was a pretty off the wall statement.
“Umm, thank You?” I thought.
“I love you.”
Again with the randomness.
“That’s really nice Lord,” I said, “really, it is. But I wasn’t really looking for a warm fuzzy this morning. I was kinda hoping You could tell me something important, You know… like the meaning of life or who let the dogs out…”
I heard His voice one last time.
“You are Mine. And I love you.”
…the third time was the charm.
A few random tears rolled down my cheeks as I lie there and felt the presence of God sweep over me. It was like in that moment, I felt what God was saying to me. I felt how special I was, I felt how valued I am. As exhausted and frustrated as I was, in an instant, it was drained away and peace began to flow as I simply allowed the love of God to permeate my life.
So peaceful in fact, that I did something I never, ever do… fell back asleep.
When I woke up a few hours later, feeling much better than I had earlier that morning, it was suddenly like I understood why I’d been awake in the first place. It wasn’t because my body wanted me to get ready for work. Rather, it was because God needed to send me a very powerful message.
When’s the last time you stopped and allowed to God to say He loves you?
We as Christians talk about God’s love all the time. We read books about it, go to church and sing songs about how much He loves us, but really, when is the last time you took time out to just stop, let God say “I love you,” and actually soak in it?
Here I was, trying to live out Psalm 46:10, taking time to be still and gain more understanding of God , when the truth was? I was just being still. I wasn’t really desiring to know anything. Well, nothing I was expecting anyway.
I think that’s our problem at times. We expect God’s divine revelation in life to be some huge ordeal. Like the heavens need to open up, angels need to appear and trumpets need to blast. Not saying that kind of stuff can’t happen, heaven forbid (knowing God’s sense of humor, He’d do it too just to show me up. He’s been known to do that from time to time.)
Honestly though, I think sometimes, the biggest lessons in life come in the smallest packages. The ones we tend to overlook because we’re too busy waiting for the angels and the trumpets.
“I love you.”
That was it. Just one small whisper from God to me. No bells. No whistles. No angels or trumpets. Just three little words. One tender and intimate moment with my Heavenly Father, in which, He just wanted me to be reminded of how much He cherishes me.
I know that God loves me. It’s not even a question in my mind. I can say this, because for the longest time, I fought it. I ran from God for 15 years because I thought all He wanted to do was punish me for all the mistakes I’d made. In my ignorant understanding of who He was, I thought for certain He was gonna strike me down. Little did I know, that by running, I was only striking myself down.
When I finally tasted God’s love for me, His radical, unchanging, and passionate love for me, I never turned back.
Still, I think at times, it can become so dull to us. We know that He loves us, so we don’t really listen for it anymore. When we hear someone say “Jesus loves you,” we say Amen and move on. We don’t stop to think about the absolutely insane reality that “Jesus LOVES you” —a perfect Savior without blemish loves little ol’ screwed up you.
We can be still and STILL not know.
We can understand that God loves us and still not get it. And while we, on this side of heaven, will never fully understand how much He loves us, we are so quick to become numb to it. To not let it set something off in our hearts when we hear “God loves you,” I’m not talking about fabricating emotions, I’m talking about a true understanding of who He is in our lives.
Growing up, a father can tell his daughter she’s beautiful every single day, but when she’s a teenager and struggles with accepting her image, it doesn’t mean anything. She’s become dazed to hearing it, even though it’s the truth. This doesn’t mean he should stop telling his daughter she’s beautiful. This isn’t a failure to parent on the side of the father… it’s a lack of understanding on the side of his daughter. She hears it, but doesn’t hear it. She’s knows it, but still doesn’t know.
God wants you to know that He loves you. And not just know it, but KNOW it.
Know it to the point that you can’t help but react with gratitude every time you hear it. It may not involve mass hysteria and tears every single time, but if God’s still, small whisper can come without angels and trumpets, can not our understanding of who He is?
A great husband doesn’t just tell his wife he loves her on birthdays and anniversaries. He tells her all the time, and if his wife truly grasps that he means it, it causes a response, a connection, an understanding that this whole “love” thing he has for her isn’t going to change.
It’s that same notion, I believe God was showing me I woke up while lying in bed looking like a burrito. He LOVED me. And when I stopped and just allowed Him to tell me, without thinking it had to be some big ordeal, my closeness of who He was as my Father intensified. For the first time in a long time, I was still AND I knew, not just one over the other.
God is always waiting to tell you He loves you. It’s not a matter of hearing it, it’s a matter when you do hear it, will you believe it?
I challenge you to set aside time in your day, EVERY day, to just stop and let God love on you. It doesn’t have a be some giant parade. It can be in the car, or at school, it can even be rolled up in bed. It’s just being still, KNOWING His love for you and receiving it like the gift it is.