So, this is what has happened. There was a morning during our honeymoon that Jacob and I were making breakfast and listening to worship music, all in a remote cabin located in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. The song “Here With Me” by MercyMe came on.
“I imagine this song is really romantic to God,” Jacob said. I was sitting on the counter nearest the kitchen sink while Jacob made an omelet. A wintry sunshine filtered in through the windows, and highlighted the unfinished wood of the high-ceilinged cabin interior.
“Yeah,” he continued. “I mean, listen to the lyrics…”
I can feel Your presence here with me,
Suddenly I’m lost within Your beauty,
Caught up in the wonder of Your touch,
Here in this moment, I surrender to Your love.
Honestly, this reminded Jacob and I of making love. Not to freak anyone out, and not to make this explicit, but the lyrics spoke of a complete surrender and overwhelming feeling of being inundated by Someone else, as close to them as possible. The concept and its intimate implications (and applications) was still very fresh in our minds, and I thought of how wonderful I felt when I knew Jacob was caught up in me, when he was overwhelmed by my beauty, and showed me that. And here was the lead singer of MercyMe saying the same thing to God…and if my emotions, desires, etc. are an imperfect reflection of God’s, then how perfectly romantic must these words be to Him?
“God is a great lover, and he created marriage to play out on this earth a daily, living, breathing portrait of the intimacy he longs for with his people…It is a kind of incarnation, a passion play about the love and union between Jesus and his beloved.” (John Eldredge, Love and War)
I have absolutely no idea who God really is.
I had never really understood what it meant for God to be praised for His beauty, what it meant for Him to love us and be loved in return, however imperfectly. Before now, I hadn’t understood what it meant to surrender to His love…I feel like my relationship with Him is completely new, as fresh and unfamiliar as my marriage relationship with Jacob. I felt like not only Jacob’s new bride, but like a newlywed with Christ as well.
He, God, loves me much more deeply and intimately than I will ever understand, and here I thought I had some sort of grasp on His love, when, in reality, I have barely brushed my fingertips across the surface.
The next week of the end of our honeymoon and the return to reality would involve a lot of coffeeshopping with Jacob, where we would open our Bibles together and spend time with God, praying and reading and then talking about what He was doing in our hearts and what we were reading in His Word.
I found myself reading over the passages most familiar to me, those that communicated the most basic parts of God’s character to me when I first started accepting His eternal pursuit of my heart, and when I, in turn, began my own pursuit of His heart through His very own grace. I read through Psalm 139 about ten times. Then I started at the very beginning of the Psalms and found myself dumbfounded all over again by truths about God, as if I’d never before experienced them.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)
God is awake while I sleep?
“For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.” (Psalm 5:4)
Just how perfect is God?
“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.” (Psalm 5:7)
How deep and abundant is His love? What does that mean for me? How much more deeply does He love me than I will ever love Him?
“You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” (Psalm 139:5-6)
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” (Psalm 139:11-12)
Darkness is as light with God? And He is always with me? And He loves me? So that means, if I’m with Him, then I’m never in darkness?
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.” (Psalm 145:17-20)
As Jacob and I continue to make the wonderful and truly adventurous transition from single to married life (I know, I’m such a newlywed), I feel like I should be swept away and consumed by joyous feelings to the point of being delirious, like my focus is expected to be totally and completely on Jacob and the differences between us, and this new life with him. While some of this is certainly true of my mind and heart right now, they more often go back to the realization I just shared with you: I thought I was really getting to know God’s heart more intimately, and deepening my knowledge of Him, and becoming more and more like Him to the point of nearly reaching the bottom of His well…and yet here I am, a child before a giant, powerful, truly unfathomable God, an infant at the feet of the Prince of Peace.
This is going to be really cool.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1-3)