O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. Psalm 139:1
So often I fail to remember the love God has for me. That, I believe, is a block to experiencing all He has for me. It’s a lingering doubt that I’m not good enough or that I’m not striving enough or that maybe things aren’t going to work out for me.
It’s not hard to doubt and question. It comes easily. Naturally. Why is it that I tend to believe the negative so quickly and have to work to believe all the good God has in store for me? He says, if we as parents know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will He give good gifts to those who ask Him. A gift is A GIFT. Not something you give yourself. Something received. Because the giver wanted to give it. Duh.
Asking requires a bit of belief. Asking requires trust. Asking requires a humble heart and child-like faith. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t ask someone for something that a) I didn’t think could provide it and b) didn’t have the propensity for giving. In fact, I truly don’t like asking anyone for anything. I have a tendency to want to be self-sufficient. Do you feel that way too?
But what if I have it all wrong? What if life was easier than that? What if God’s love was so powerful, so available, so tangible and so accessible that it was only my lack of the asking and believing that prevented the flow from streaming down on me at every moment?
That is the core reason for this Lenten Love Challenge. It is my deliberate attempt to reconnect with God’s love for me. It’s what’s driven me to get up at 5 am for four weeks now and listen. I am asking, “God what do you want me to say today?”
This is what I heard this morning. What if…
Today I want to reconnect with that love through a poem I’ve composed based on Psalm 139. I encourage you to read the entire Psalm and write out a few of your own questions and What Ifs.
Open your mind and your heart to the goodness and gentleness and pure, intense love God has for you. Right now. This moment.
What If (a poem based on Psalm 139)
by April O’Leary
What if You knew everything about me and loved me anyway?
The loving part of me and the hateful part of me.
The generous part of me and the prideful part of me.
The part of me that wants to be seen and that part of me that wants to stay hidden from you.
What if You knew when I sat down and when I stood up?
You see my fits of anger and my gentle hand.
You see my smile in delight and my tears that fall softly with hurt.
You see. And you smile when I smile, cry when I cry and hurt when I hurt.
What if you knew what I was going to say even before I spoke a word?
You laugh at my crooked jokes and cringe at my foul language.
You nod at a word spoken in timely fashion and give me words when I don’t know what to say.
You know me better than I know myself. And still, You love me faults and all.
What if You place Your hand of blessing on my head?
You have prepared my path and You also respect my will to choose it.
You work things out for me even when I choose the wrong thing.
You know I am growing and You are ever patient with me. Not expecting perfection.
What if I have it all wrong?
What if I could stop striving?
What if I could simply rest in You?
What if I asked and knew that You could and would help if You were sought?
I want to believe the What if.
Help me see the What if.
I choose to live the What If.
Day 28 Lenten Love Prayer:
What if everything You said about me were true? That you care so deeply. That you love so richly. That you want nothing more than that I feel Your love being shed abroad in my heart at every moment. Perfect love casts out all fear. What if I could live a fearless life? What would I do that I am not doing now? How would I stand taller? Smile more? Laugh with reckless abandon? Could I smile at the future? All these things I desire so deeply and all these things are mine if I remove the doubt and believe the truth of who You are and then the truth of who I am in You. Let me be all that You have created me to be. Powerful. Happy. Generous. Loved. Seen. May I rely on You for my identity and not on what others have told me in the past. May I see myself as You see me. Thank you for making me wonderful. May I believe that today. I am wonderful. Who would have thought?
Day 28 Scripture:
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand! Psalm 139:18-19