January 16, 2011

Sacred Sweets


"The hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets, before we reach the heavenly field or walk the golden streets."

And it's funny how the exertion required to climb the hill of Zion becomes oh, so insignificant when compared to the thousands of sacred sweets He gives along the way.

I am awed and humbled at a Father who would choose to make this wretch His treasure and fill her life to overflowing with the riches of His grace.

If a friend who has only experienced my love should be inclined to give such heart-warming gifts I would understand, but why should the One who has been the recipient of my hatred and calloused indifference give me a thousand sacred sweets with the promise of only more and more good things to come? I will never understand. Is that what it means when people say that well-worn phrase "unconditional love?"

Last night, at the annual OHA/OHC bonfire, as we paused to spend a few moments reflecting on how God has individually led each of us, I was reminded how good my Lord truly is. Five years ago at that bonfire, I sat in misery as my friends shared how God was speaking to them and leading them. My life was so black with compromised convictions, anger, cherished idols, and a hundred failed attempts at perfection that I despaired that I would ever know anything different. I wanted only to be away from the light that made me appear so dark and empty. I am so grateful to the God who knew that deep inside all I really wanted was peace. I'm so grateful to be here again, daily discovering more and more of the goodness and love of Jesus. There were a hundred different backgrounds represented around that campfire. So many different walks of life, viewpoints, personalities… but there was such a bond of commonality. Even though many of the new faces I still can't put a name with, they felt like brothers and sisters. I knew they understood. Each of us has a different story, but yet every story that was shared was the same– "I once was lost, but now am found. I am a sinful wretch but He is changing me into His likeness. He has given me hope." This must be what unity looks like. I guess unity is just one of those sacred sweets.

Understanding, acceptance, a common goal.

Peace, hope, assurance, confidence.

Joy, answered prayer, trust, purpose.

Reconciliation, power, change, renewal.

Freely imparted skills and qualities that seemed to be hopeless impossibilities.

Forgiveness, restoration, blackness blotted out.

And a thousand more??

He treats me like a princess. :-)

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