Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just Receive It

(A Wrestling Story, Part 1)

Jason and I had spent the better part of Friday and Saturday exploring God’s Story at a conference for facilitators.  We had talked about what it looks like to believe the Story.  Not knowledge, understanding or opinion.  But pisteuō, the Greek word that is translated in the Bible “to believe.” VINES Expository Dictionary defines it as "reliance upon and not just credence."  So, that which you believe, you live.  

All the discussion throughout the day about belief led me to begin asking God some hard questions—Are you Lord of my life?  Do I live what I say I believe?  And if I don’t live it, then why?

These are scary questions to ask, especially when it feels like it calls into question all that you have been taught, have sought to live, have chosen to believe, and have shared with others your whole life long.  The questions when asked sincerely, peel away the layers and get at the heart.  As scary as it may be, it is also good.  It is good to dig down deep and see what is there, to see where your hope has been placed.  It gets to the foundation of who you are and what you live each day.  Real change begins in understanding what is in your heart and wrestling with it.

A few hours after the conference, I was spouting out the places where I have not been living changed by the Story, as Jason and I walked back from our local micro-market.  It was when I had poured it all out that I found I was quiet and bared before the Lord.  He had been helping me peel away the layers.  Now, I was scrubbing the dishes and I allowed the methodical movements of the task to usher me into a time of listening prayer. 
After I had been working for awhile, focused and quiet, I thought I heard God’s voice gently whisper in my spirit.  Jessica, your problem is not Lordship.  What you need is to know that I love you.”  I stood frustrated, because what could I do about that?  I couldn’t do anything. 

I finished the last of the dishes before trudging up the stairs to our loft where Jason was playing music through his computer. 

He looked at me as I flopped onto the futon nearby and said, “There’s a song I need to play for you.”

"How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure"     

The tears trickled down as the words were sung.  I hear you, Lord.

As the song ended, wanting to hear him say it, I asked, “How did you know that’s what I needed to hear, Jason?”

I looked at him.  And he replied, “I just had a feeling that God needed you to hear that He loves you just now.”   

Ah.  Yes.  Okay, God.  I think I get it.  Again.  Thanks for reminding me.  I can’t do anything about Your love for me.  I just have to receive it.

But what does that look like?  How does one receive God's love?  I wasn't quite sure.

So,I tried to receive as best I could in that moment, with thanks.  Gratitude hardly seeming enough. 

I smiled, exhausted and raw from the wrestling, trying to lay hold of His promise.


“For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to [condemn] it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.”    John 3:16-17 (the Voice translation)

God’s love is ever expressed in the person of Jesus Christ.  For me.  For you.  Jesus, God’s gift, redeemed us, His treasure. 

Sometimes discipleship is learning to recognize God’s love and live joyously receiving it.

Listen and Receive:

Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we live knowing and embracing that we are loved and made God’s treasure through Jesus Christ, His Son.

Jessica :)


  1. Thank you for posting this. It has brought light to a few things I have been wrestling with.

    "The questions when asked sincerely, peel away the layers and get at the heart."

    It's the sincerity part that can cause me to stumble. But His Love is deep and patient. Praise God.

    "So,I tried to receive as best I could in that moment, with thanks. Gratitude hardly seeming enough." Yes.

    Welcome to the world of blogging. I pray that God will use your life in new ways to glorify His Kingdom here.

    1. Yes. His love is deep and patient. This story is just the beginning of the wrestling I have been doing. I hope to share a bit more about it in the next few weeks. I have been really surprised at what I found...and perhaps what I'm still finding. But it was so freeing. I feel more at peace, more authentic, and more content with life as a whole. And I can say with even more certainty "God is good all the time." Blessings friend.