Last week my friend read me a passage from Haggai 1 -
2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house. ’”
3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin? ”
5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, ” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands. ”
Ouch. (that last one hit especially hard)
And it feels like the past few years of my life have been summed up neatly.
So out of the crevices of my mind where half remembered memory verses float around waiting for a chance to be useful comes the ever famous "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all these things shall be added onto you" verse (and no I don't remember where it's from...)
Put all these together and I've been trying to figure out how to seek God, build up His Temple first, and love Him with all my heart while at the same time continuing to try to panel my own house because I can't seem to figure out how to stop.
Then this was in my devotion today from the book Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge:
"One of the deepest ways a woman bears the image of God is in her mystery. By mystery we don't mean "forever beyond your knowing," but "something to be explored." "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter," says the book of Proverbs, "to search out a matter is the glory of kings" (25:2). God yearns to be known. But he wants to be sought after by those who would know him. He says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). There is dignity here; God does not throw himself at any passerby. He is no harlot. If you would know him you must love him; you must seek him with your whole heart. This is crucial to any woman's soul, not to mention her sexuality. "You cannot simply have me. You must seek me, pursue me. I won't let you in unless I know you love me."
Is not the Trinity a great mystery? Not something to be solved, but to be known with ever-deepening pleasure and awe, something to be enjoyed. Just like God, a woman is not a problem to be solved, but a vast wonder to be enjoyed. "
Yes! This is one of the pieces I have been missing. The picture is a little clearer now.
God is not something to be solved. God wants to be known, but yet He is not a harlot throwing herself at any passerby. He wants to be sought out, He wants to be loved, and he wants to be enjoyed.
My discontent with my life, the problems that plague me, the things that tie me down and keep me preoccupied... That's all me trying to build my own paneled house. I'm trying to get all my affairs in order, before trying to move on to the kingdom of heaven.
And in a similar manner that I do when I watch a child trying to go about doing a problem in the completely wrong way, He tries to get my attention, and when that doesn't work, He allows my path to be thwarted.
"You're going about it the wrong way silly. Come over here and I'll show you." He says gently.
But like many young children, I refuse to hear. (seriously, trying to make a child listen to you sometimes is HARD. Even when the answer is so simple, they are too wrapped up in their own thoughts to hear you trying to help them.)
Thankfully God is patient.
Now I feel a little freer, with a different angle on things.
So the questions for this week are now:
How does a woman chase after her lover in a way that is feminine and yet whole hearted? (since I have never chased after a lover whole heartedly, I'm a little stumped to know what this looks like just yet...)
How do I go about seeking after God in a way that will enable me to fall deeper and deeper in love with Him?
For now I ponder...
with my hands outstreached...
grasping for the ever elusive love affair born from faith and hope.
I'm certain, someday I'll be still and finally listen.
My friend wrote a song that feels appropriate here...
My dream, I never catched that yet. My dream, I never touched that yet.
Every night, I'm reaching my hand to the sky...
My Truth, I never catched that yet. My Truth, I never touched that yet.
Every night, I'm reaching my hand to the sky...
Looking for my Dream and Truth.
(He is not Christian, nor a native English speaker, which is why you have the word catched instead of caught...)
But this is what my heart feels like sometimes (no, make that most times). If you imagine that my dream and my truth are in fact My God, then this is what I am searching for in all I do. And so often it feels like I can never quite grasp Him. But I am compelled to reach my hand to the sky... searching for my Dream and Truth.