Monday, April 16, 2007

...trying to sleep...but to no avail

...it's 4:30 am and I am sitting in bed dog-tired, but still wide awake at the same time. I've been trying to sleep for the last 4 hours. At first, when that wasn't working, I tried working on homework - couldn't concentrate. So I succumbed to re-reading a novel that is written with mediocrity (as far as well-written novels go), but a story that is singed in my memory. Reedeming Love by Francine Rivers is the incredible story of the faith of the Biblical character, Hosea. The fictitious characters of Micheal Hosea and Angel are direct allusions to the love story of Hosea and the prostitute, Gomer. It is incredible to me how a man can have that much passion and true desire for a woman whose past is anything but desirable. Francine Rivers' interpretation, and delivery of this story is truly breath-taking, scratch that...life-changing. (Not to mention addicting! I'm about 200 pages into it, after starting tonight!) God is so very much like His character, Hosea. No matter how broken, or dirty our pasts are...He loves us with the depth of the oceans. No matter how many times we anger Him, or frustrate Him, or even leave Him...He is there to welcome us back into His arms of redemption and peace, and unconditional love.
It can be truly maddening to know that our Father is willing to take us back after all the crap we've created, or been through, without any sort of debt to Him. Everything has price...right?
WRONG!

As long as we are honest and repentive and seeking, He will guide our every step without so much as an expectance of payment. Well, besides the constant abiding by His rules, and trusting Him. (Both of those can be difficult at times, but thankfully He's the forgiving type...as in unlimited amounts of forgiving!!! How cool is that?!)

Anyway, my book...I was writing about my book. :) Ah, yes...Katie reminded me of this book last week, and although I had read it before, I suddenly had a longing to re-read this story of faith, and unconditional love. It is impossible for me to fathom a man that could trust God, and be as obedient and observant of His still small voice, as this man does. The character in the novel is far from perfect, as we all are, but he has what I have seemed to lack these last few years...an insatiable hunger to hear God's voice. I envy him for that!!! Can you imagine envying a fictitious character in a novel?!? How very strange!

But in all honesty, that is something that I have lacked as of late. It seems that I have forgotten how to simply listen. If I am not besieging Him with my "wants" and "needs," I am generally asking Him to help others, or asking Him to speak to me. But I have come to the realization tonight (it started @ Reality during worship) that I am so busy asking for His input...I never seem to find the stillness in which I can merely just listen for it! Remember those quiet times after chapel at church camps (usually in the mountains) when we were younger? "okay kids...go have quiet time....meet back up with your group when the bell rings...don't go into cabins, don't sleep, don't socialize...etc etc etc." We would all scatter off to our various nooks and corners within the camp boundaries with our Bibles and notepads as if we truly understood what it meant to "BE STILL AND LISTEN," wishing we could just have more free time, and wondering how long til our half hour was up. I usually wound up hiking around up the hill a ways, no sounds but the sticks and pine needles crunching under my feet, and the birds squawking at each other, slicing through the otherwise silent cool air. Thinking back on it now, though, those were probably some of the times that I have been closest to my Father. No, I may not have known what I was listening for, but I can recall emotions rising inside me that I have rarely felt since. I wish I were more like that on a daily basis. More like Hosea. His ability to hear God's voice, even despite the physical temptations raging within him, combined with Britt's message, is the most substantial encouragement I've heard in a long time.

So thank you Katie...for reminding me of this incredible love story that I long to live out in my own life. And, more importantly, thank you Jesus, for being the center of that story.




Heavenly Father, your words to Michael Hosea stand out even to me God. I pray that You daily remind me to take time out to listen to what You have to say. I pray that I am quiet enough, long enough to hear Your desires, and hopes for my life. God, may You be all I desire to please. Thank you for Your unconditional forgiveness, Your deep passion for my life, and most importantly, Your Redeeming Love. I love you Lord. It is as simple as that. And I pray that I can honor You with everything in me.
~insatiably Yours....your daughter

2 comments:

KATIE said...

Yeahhhhh--- Yeahhhhh---
His love is so amazing! So wreckless! When I say that He's ruined me, it's not just that He's totally messed up my way of thinking but when His love so penetrates into our hearts and minds in that deep understanding and intimacy we are no longer able to settle for anything less! Compromise and mediocrity are no longer really viable options because the discomfort and true conviction that truth in purity and fullness is awaiting our lives presents itself...
Your welcome for reminding you of that book--- I'm stoked you're reading it again, though I wish you could've slept-- reminds me of the girl in SS when she is awake looking for her love...
Keep it real darlin and keep seeking His face--- You're stinkin' awesome by the way!!!
xoxoxo

Mike Larson said...

i found your blog through mike colon's from the Ninja photo i took of him. I chose this blog entry, cause its my wife's favorite book in the world. Rachel LOVES this book. Francine Rivers is her fav author as well!

see you around!