Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Fierceness of His Love

Have you ever felt swallowed up by love?  Have you ever known what it is like to be fought for, defended by, and pursued after by God's fierce love?

Fierce might seem a strange word to describe love, but it is a fitting word to describe the love of God.  Fierce, in the Merriam-Webster dictionary means 'marked by unrestrained zeal or vehemence'.   That's it.  God's love is marked by unrestrained zeal.  He holds nothing back.  And vehemence denotes intensity.  He is unrestrained and He is intense in the measure of His love.   He does nothing halfheartedly.   Fierce love looks like the father of the prodigal son, running full speed to embrace his wayward son, throwing a robe around him, and giving a party on his behalf.  Our Father doesn't have to count the cost of his lavish love because the cost has already been paid.  Fierce love looked like His one and only Son dying on a cruel cross.  

It's Father's desire, and Paul prays this for us in Ephesians, 'that we might be rooted and established in love'.   Have you ever seen a tree that didn't develop a strong root system?   The first strong wind that comes along, and it is likely to topple.  We're the same way, but our root system is nurtured by love.  Love is the thing that settles us in place and allows us to grow deeply and securely where God places us.  His love establishes us.  Without His love, we are like the roots of an unwatered tree.  We will always be searching for the thing that we need and many times looking for it in all the wrong places.  

The greatest delight of our journey is this unfolding discovery of the love of God.  Paul continues in his prayer in Ephesians 3, asking that we 'may have power, together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge....' .  It sounds like a funny play on words when Paul says that we can know this love that surpasses knowledge. But, I don't think he meant that we can know it in it's entirety, for that would take all of eternity.  I do think he meant that we are to experience God's love, and know it intimately.  Love is not meant to be reasoned, analyzed or studied from afar, but it is meant to be felt and known. 

Many times when we have been hurt in this life, we tend to put up walls and numb our emotions.  It's a normal response to pain.  But, in order to experience God's love, it will be necessary to be willing for the walls to come down.  It will also be necessary to admit the deepness of our hurt.  Being honest about our hurt and receiving His healing for our hearts sets us up for a love encounter.  It's in this place of vulnerability and honesty that we can experience His love.  

My first experience of His love was like the dawning of a new day.  The tiniest ray, like my first realization of His love, cut through the darkness and brought hope, security and life.  But He didn't stop there.  His love, like the rising sun, continues to come, and come and relentlessly come.   He pursues, He runs after, He overtakes me with the fierceness of His love.