Oh Love of Love of God, So Rich and Pure!

I love it when God surprises me.  I love it when I feel prayers are “heard and answered.”  Now, I am aware that by nature of who God is, He hears all my prayers.  I know He answers them in His time too.  That is undoubted in my mind.  But I do like it when I feel the answers right away!

Just the other day I was driving along on a gloomy, rainy day.  I was out running errands in no particular order.  As I was driving, I was praying.  At one point I remember saying, “God, I just want a fresh glimpse of your love for me.”  Simple prayer.  But God took me up on it in an unexpected way.

I hopped out of my car, looked at the dripping sky, thought of how far I had to go, glanced at the umbrella stowed in my back seat, and decided I wasn’t going that far and it shouldn’t take long.  I left the umbrella.  I happened to be at a nature center.  I had to return an item that I had checked out.  The visitor center is a short walk from the parking lot.  It is not far, and the trail is surrounded by trees.

I walked up the path, noticing the fresh smell of rain mingled with the distinctive smell of earthy moss, leaves, and water.  I savored the smell.  I love the freshness of the outdoors.  Just as I was about twenty feet from the visitor center it started to rain much heavier.  I lighlty ran the rest of the way to the center, glad to be in and away from the wetnes

After returning my backpack and visiting the volunteer for a short while, I headed back outside.  The volunteer, an older woman, asked if I was going to wait inside or run to my car.  I smiled, looked outside, and thought that the rain didn’t look any worse than the rain I’d ran through on the way inside.  I said I was going to run for it.  However, two steps outside the door I paused under the ample overhang of the roof.  In that pause, the heavens opened and an all out downpour began.  I decided that I would hang out under the roof, and wait.  I pulled my purse closer to me, hugged the side of the building, and waited.

This is where God decided to step in and answer my prayer.  He did so in the most natural of ways.  He stilled my busyness and forced me to look and listen. As I waited under that overhang I heard birds singing.  I saw rain pounding so hard it looked like a sheet of glass.  I was comfortable in the stillness around me.  The air was fresh and cool, with an occasional raindrop hitting me.  Pretty soon the rain slowed a bit.  Now the drops danced on the path, big plopping splats of wetness.  I observed how they fell.  I listened to the frogs start to call one another.  I saw the leaves as they hung heavy with rain, seeming to glisten.  I smelled the earth.  Then  a fleeting image came to my mind — an image of a child trying to catch a raindrop with her tongue.  The image litterally lasted a second, but it was long enough to plant the idea in my mind.  So I leaned as far out from under the overhang as I could.  I tried to catch a raindrop.  I don’t think I succeeded, but I did get my face wet.  A smile came to my face for no other reason than just pure joy.  I decided to run to my car.  I ran the pathway, and by the time I reached my car I really was smiling.  That was fun!

I got into my car, turned on my cd, and drove away, exhilarated by feeling like a child. A song came on, The Love of God.  Immediately I thought of God’s goodness: of the rain on the land, of the beauty of the earth, of the gifts of sight, smell, and touch to enjoy the rain.  God whispered to my soul,”Do you see it Mary Ann?   I love this world.  I love the things I created.  I am the God of all.  I make good things and give good gifts.”  I had my answer.  I had prayed a simple request of a fresh glimpse of God’s love.  He answered in creation.  I was sobered by the thought that I had to slow down long enough to see, and long enough to listen.  And yet, God only slowed me down for 5 minutes as I waited out the rain.  But it was enough time for His answer to come.

Later that day as I sat in a friends home, I stared again out into the rain.  This time the rain was not a downpour, but a gently steady stream. I soon heard the giggles of the next door neighbor girls.  I watched with an amused smile as three young girls came barefoot out of their house.  They wore swimming suits, and carried umbrellas.  They laughed, chased each other, and enjoyed the delightful rain.  They moved the umbrellas, letting their hair get soaked.  They laughed.  They giggled.  They were having a grand old time.

I saw their delight, and relived my brief child-like moments of the morning. We know that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Ps. 24:1-2). He used His world, and a simple song.  He answered my prayer, and gave me not only a glimpse of His love, but a glimpse of Himself.  He is the Creator.  He is God.  His love is incomprehensible.

Psalm 136: 1-9

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

To him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
 who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

Here is the old, beautiful hymn, “The Love of God,” sung by the Gaithers.  Enjoy the words, God’s love is rich and pure and measureless!  Press into Jesus today!


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