Friday, March 6, 2015

The AWE of God . . .

 I lost my 'awe' of God. 

I grew up in a church environment all of my life, but I never ever remembering having and 'awe' of God.  I knew who He was or at least the way he was explained to us in Sunday school.  I knew that we were supposed to live a life that was pleasing to Him.  I was not struck with amazement at Him, His word, this world, I did not appreciate nor even know that I was supposed to count every single breath as a blessing a gift from Him.  His holiness and the reverence that it demands was not really taught to us.  There was a great focus on the Holy Spirit (aka Holy Ghost) in the particular church I grew up in ... but even in that teaching it wasn't about being in 'awe' of God.

About 9 years ago I had a major life crisis.  To say that the Lord put me flat on my face and on my knees to Him would be an understatement.  It was one of those times in your life that you cry out to Him for mercy because the storm of life is so overwhelming you can hardly breathe ... you feel the very air being sucked out of your lungs.  You pray to a God you think you know to either stop the tormenting emotions or take your life, you are that desperate for a change.

You cannot see Him or hear Him because the noise and chaos of the turmoil in your life whether by your own doing or as the consequences of another persons actions is so loud that it absolutely drowns out everything the entire world around you, to the point that you can only hear your own heartache. 

You can feel your soul being tormented ... it was one of those storms in life.

We have all had one and if you haven't you will.  The hard ones, the ones that you can't even form words really to talk about because no one would understand.  The times in life that you can easily be judged by other believers who would ((in a loving way of course)) know the exact scripture to quote you and how you need to apply to your life, then all would be well again.

That might have worked for someone else, but not for me.  You see I thought I knew God and for all intents and purposes I did know the basics.  I knew there was a God that created all of creation and sent His son to die for me but I did not have an awe of him ... I was not struck with the beauty of the world around me.  I was not smitten by the mercy of a Holy God who, out of His love for me sent his son to be tortured and to hang on a tree all for me.

I can almost remember the exact date that I dropped to my knees and all I could do was sob uncontrollably no words came out of my mouth.  I begged God to show up in my circumstances and take it from me, I was done.

He showed up.

The Lord has restored and is continuing to mend a broken mind and heart. 

I began to have an 'awe' of Him because He had absolutely no reason to reach down and save me. NONE. 

He had absolutely no cause to redeem me.

There was absolutely nothing good in or about me.

I was a pathetic heap of sin.  The crisis itself wasn't one event or one person, it was a lifetime of consequences.  It was like a parasite that started as a microorganism that turned into a full blown mutant cell and devoured itself and everything around it.   

Yet, in the pit of despair He reached His hand down and pulled me out (Psalm 40) without any reason other than He loved me.  No one with breath in them could have saved me ... not my parents, not my husband, not my sister ... no friends.  Only the Lord could reach to the depths of my soul where the pain and sin had held me for so long and pull me up and out back amongst the living; and he did.

It wasn't an immediate change, it was a gradual.  Eventually days weeks later I became aware of a love I had never ever truly known.  I became aware of His prescense in my life.  I became familiar with a God I only thought I knew.  I was in awe of a God who could, would and did save me. 

I absolutely was not worth the air I was breathing.  ((I am not saying that for sympathy, I am simply recognizing my inability to have pulled myself together from where I was)).

I was in awe and completely consumed with this transforming grace and mercy that had been bestowed on me.  I couldn't and still can't believe He has revealed himself to me and given me life.  I remember being baptized in 2009 and the few days following the smile on my face was bigger than the day I got married.  I had never experienced anything like it and prayed reverently not to loose the feeling and awesomeness of the situation.  But I did, I did loose it.  Actually, I didn't loose it I tossed it by the wayside.

I realized that I had lost my 'awe' of the Lord this past Thanksgiving.  I allowed life and circumstances to consume my emotions not Him.

Since then, I have prayed and asked the Lord to restore or give it back or something ... just help me find my 'awe' of Him again ...

I kept thinking that it would be this big aha moment, but it wasn't and it isn't going to be.

Instead He gives me small moments, tiny seconds in life that He whispers to me and says this ... this is me loving you ... this is me saving you ... this is me redeeming you ... this is me restoring to you what was lost/taken ... this is me Hope, the "I am" loving you.

I have had a few awe moments recently.  I have to share these things, these moments ... because I want to be real and genuine with my faith.  

The first was when I was dressing Izzy up as a princess for a birthday party she was invited too.  We took the time for hair, lip gloss, the perfect dress, shoes, gloves, crown and a white cape!  When she was ready she said "momma can I twirl?" No mother would ever nor could ever say no to that ... so I said "Yes, of course you can sweets and go show daddy."  She choose to stay in the room with me for a 'first glance' .... When she grabbed her dress on both sides and twirled,  it was as if we were in a movie in slow motion.  I truly saw her twirl up to a girl in a prom dress and a lady in a white gown about to walk the aisle and back to this precious belle of the ball.  The air was sucked out of the room... there was a lump in my throat tears in my eyes and my heart was beating so loud it sounded like drums. My heart ached and leapt for joy all at the same time ... it was the day she was born all over again.  One foot in heaven rejoicing at the awesome and wonderful gift that she was yet one foot in hell at the grief that had to come in order for her to be mine.  ((that's another story on a much early blog post in 2011 or 2012)) She is so beautiful yet will be gone and on her own in the blink of an eye.

 The Lord gave me a glimpse of Him, there is no reason I should be her mom but I am, because of Him.  He orchestrated my life in a way that she was my daughter ... through pain and turmoil and what felt like an endless grief ... I am her momma.  Me, I am it.  He bestowed the greatest privilege on me when he put her in my arms.  I fell to me knees in awe of Him.  Who else would love me that much?

There have been other times as well too many to document here.  Except for today, I have to write about today.  There are no words really to describe the magic.  It was a snow day, a day that she didn't have to go to preschool we just stayed home and played and ate and went outside in the snow.

However, there were times today that she would say 'momma' I replied with yes, 'I love you momma' and blow me a kiss.  There were other times when I was the recipient of instruction on what her babies and her 'friends' needed, for the record yes I did meet the demands.  There were moments that I caught a side glimpse of her and my breath stopped at her beauty and innocence of the world around her.

How could I not be in awe of a holy God, who continues to grab me out of deep dark emotional turmoil.  How could I not be in awe of a God who showers me with love through a precious daughter and friends and family.  How could I not be in awe of a God who opens the eyes of my heart and reveals His word to me so that I may understand it and teach it to her. 

How can I not stay in awe of the Lord every second of every day for the rest of my life? Because if I were to die this moment He has been better to me than I ever deserved and has shown me more grace and mercy than any human would ever be capable of ...

I realized that my awe of Him is a choice.  I can burden my mind with the things of this world or I can focus my mind on Him, His word and stand in awe of a holy God who deserves nothing less than my wholehearted worship with every task on hand and every breath I take.
I don't think we will ever truly stand in AWE of Him until our bodies fail us this side of heaven and we bow down at His feet unworthy to be called His and unworthy to worship Him in heaven for all eternity. 
For now though, I will revel in the moments He gives me and be in AWE of just how much He loves me. 

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