Monday, January 27, 2014

03. Great is Thy Faithfulness -- Viewed

(photo by Tara Gourley)

“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!  
There is no shadow of turning with Thee; 
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not; 
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.”
As I return to the familiar lyrics of this hymn, I cannot help but think of “faithful,” as it is seen today. When it isn’t used to describe God, it is often used to describe a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend, meaning they are true, and that they haven’t given their love or themselves to someone else. It means you can trust them. It means that they love you enough, and have enough integrity, that you never have to worry about them leaving or abandoning you. When I think of God as faithful, I am incredibly comforted. The God that crafted the universe loves me … enough to stick it out with me and help me as I slowly work through my numerous problems. He isn’t going to leave me, and He is going to do whatever it takes to keep me from leaving Him. Where He is faithful, I am faithless. I go out on dates with pride, fear, anger, “busyness,” laziness, and all the other guys, and I’ve left Him to wait up for me with a breaking heart. I put other things before Him. I take Him for granted. I yell at Him. I flat-out ignore Him.
And He still loves me, faithfully.
What did I ever do to deserve His love? Nothing. I’ve done everything to deserve losing it, actually, but still, He loves me. His love never changes. He has compassion for me. He looks at my hair, rumpled from a sleepless night; my eyes, clouded with worry; He watches me in the very act of doubting Him, and still, He calls me beautiful. It’s not that He is oblivious to my wrongdoings. He doesn’t pretend they’re not there. He sees them, He knows them, and they crush His heart … but He bore them on the cross for me. So when He looks at me, He looks at me with forgiveness; He sees me as redeemed; beloved. And nothing I could do would change His love for me.
“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, 
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, 
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, 
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”
An unfaithful sinner who breaks His heart at least every other day … and He still spoils me silly. Every blessing, He gives to me. Forgiveness, peace, His presence, guidance, strength, hope … He holds nothing  back from me. I am left in shock, having brought no gift for Him, and He looks at me, and calls me “enough.” His grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) All He wants is me, running recklessly into the arms of my Lord and His will for my life, for all to see.
“Great is Thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness, 
Morning by morning, new mercies I see; 
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided --
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me! Amen.”
1) How does God view me? (via her)
Through His blood, through a ridiculous amount of love, through grace, and through salvation. Whether I think I deserve it or not, He loves me wild.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” - Ephesians 2:4-8