Girlfriends in God - August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012
God’s Relentless Romance
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“The whole earth is full of his glory,” (Isaiah 6:3 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Steve and I were driving home from dinner when I posed a question about romance.

“Steve, I heard someone once say that a woman defines romance as the feeling of being continually pursued. What do you think about that?”

“I don’t think that is very realistic, or practical,” he replied. “A man can’t continually pursue a woman. Why should he? A man pursues a woman, but at some point, she has to make a decision to marry him or not. To let herself be caught or walk away. A decision has to be made. The pursing has to stop at some point.”

“And I think that is one of the problems in marriages today,” I answered back. “The man stops pursuing the woman’s heart after she says ‘I do’.”

“I don’t understand what you mean,” he said. “You pursue something to catch it. When you get married, that means you caught her.”

“I know it doesn’t make sense to a man,” I continued. “But a woman wants to continually feel pursued. Maybe that’s why married women escape with movies like Pride and Prejudice or get absorbed in Romance novels. They are trying to grasp for, cling to, or stir up that feeling of being pursued. But for a guy, after the ink on the marriage license dries, it seems the man thinks the need for pursuit dries up as well. The bride and groom walk across the moat of singleness, into the castle of marriage, and he pulls the drawbridge up as if it’s a done deal. The End.”

“But a man can’t spend his life pursuing someone he’s already captured,” Steve argued.

“Why not?” I asked.

Oh, friend, are you getting tired? I know this conversation made no sense to Steve. And listen, he is a very romantic guy. He puts forth more effort than most men I know. But this idea of romance being a continualpursuit was beyond his male ability to comprehend or execute.

Not so with God. He gets it. He does it.

C. S. Lewis, in his work, The Weight of Glory, argued that the most fundamental thing is not how we think of God but rather what God thinks of us. “How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important.”  God thinks that you are worth romancing with glory moments to capture your heart time and time again.

The question is, do we get it? Do we see God’s continual wooing of our heart? Daily? Hourly? Do we recognize the romance of God in the routine of life?

Right smack dab in the middle of writing this chapter, God sent me a love note. I stopped writing, turned aside, and paid attention. Then I opened by journal and jotted it down. It may seem out of place here, but I want to show you how God can interrupt and infuse your life with sudden glory moments. Some ridiculously outrageous and others relatively subtle. Here’s my journal entry:

It is gray outside. The sky is gray and in turn, the lake beyond my window is gray. The water reflects the sky in a monochromatic palate of gray. The gray trees are bare with a smattering of dead, brown leaves that refuse to release their grip. A naked weeping willow’s graceful gray fingers wave with a gentle breeze. And a light drizzle falls from the sky. More gray. I’m writing today. Gray words on a white screen.          

And in the middle of my gray world, a vibrant red cardinal is perched on a nearby limb. His face is ringed in black. His Mohawk feathers stand perfectly groomed atop his regal head. His orange beak accents his crimson face. He looks at me and keeps me company for hours. I wonder if he even knows the joy he brings to my pale world today. I wonder if he is God’s love note to me. I choose to believe so. In the grayness, God has sent me a splash of color. And I swoon.

When you expect God to make His presence known, you begin to see His hand and hear His voice in moments of sudden glory—as you live and move and have your being in Him. Signs of His presence brighten even the dullest days when you have eyes open to see. When you tune your senses to God’s timbre, you begin to hear His song. Receptivity and attentiveness are the frequency of His voice. Hearing God’s voice and sensing His presence is not difficult, but it is otherworldly. So pay attention to His advances. He rejoices when you glance His way.

Let’s Pray
Jesus, Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I am so think-headed. Thank you for continuing to pursue my heart, even when I miss your love notes time and time again. I am paying attention to your advances today.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
I hope you got a chuckle from my conversation with Steve about romance. What would you say is a good definition of romance?

Today pay attention to the ways God is romancing you. Don’t miss it.

Just for fun, what is the most romantic thing anyone ever did for you? Let’s share on my blog/devo page.Click over and leave a comment on today’s post.

More from the Girlfriends
Do you long to feel close to God but sense there’s something missing? That you’ve missed that mysterious formula to make it happen? Do have a glory ache – a persistent longing to experience God’s presence and working in your life, but not quite sure how to make it happen? If so, my new book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, is just for you. Join me and discover how to erase the lines between the secular and the sacred and experience a deeper more intimate relationship with God than ever before. While you’re there, you can download a free chapter or watch a video book trailer.

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Originally published Tuesday, 21 August 2012.