I want to want just You, God.
Not what You can do.
Not what You can give me.
I want to love You simply because You are God.
THE King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Great I AM.
My Fortress, Strong Tower, Deliverer.
And, more than any of that, my Savior.
I want to love You simply because You chose to love me first.
I want to love You because You saw my life before time began and made a plan to redeem me, to take the justly deserved punishment for my sins, to give me eternal life, to call me Your precious child.
I want to love You for Your goodness, Your kindness, Your mercy and grace.
And I do love You for all of these.
But I fear that I love Your hand more than I love Your heart.
Or rather, my love for You is based on Your hand rather than Your heart.
When things go my way, the ways I think are best, I immediately say, “Wow, God must love me.”
And when things go sideways, I immediately think and sometimes say, “Wow, God, don’t You love me?”
Like the disciples in the boat in the middle of the night, in the middle of the storm, I cry out to You, “Don’t you CARE IF I DROWN???”
And of course You do. Because You are in the boat with me, riding the storm with me, there with me through it all.
But instead of remembering that, I spend more time telling You what to do and less time asking, “What would YOU have ME do?”
I stomp my feet and flail with the very best of the two-year olds when I hurt – or when I cannot have my way.
And I assign You blame for my pain, even when I have caused it by my own choice, my own sin.
Sometimes the pain IS from You and has nothing to do with my sin and everything to do with my character and Your long-term agenda.
Just as a doctor often causes pain to prevent illness, with shots, exams, and treatments.
A gardener often uses sharp tools to cause greater growth, by pruning, cutting, mowing.
And a good parent often allows natural consequences to occur in the life of their child, knowing that sometimes controlled pain is the best teacher.
And sometimes, there is no pain. Instead, there is great joy.
You answer my prayer in the way I want.
Or You give me an unexpected positive answer to a prayer I never even thought to pray.
You kiss my face with sunshine and sprinkle my days with laughter.
You give me a glimpse at the end of the story, the ways You are working things together for good, the ways You are at work on my behalf.
And I fear that I love You more on those days – what I would call the “good days” – so much more than I love you on the “bad days”.
Because I am very weak.
And very flawed.
With very limited eyesight and even smaller faith. I laugh at the disciples when they doubt Jesus – but I am just like them.
Very much like a flower quickly fading.
And yet, You love me.
You do not base Your love on how I love You.
This is not an equal exchange.
You have no scales to balance when it comes to love – or anything else for that matter.
Or rather, Your scales are always, always tipped in Your favor.
But they are moot.
Because Your love for me is not based in me.
Your love for me is based in YOU.
I want to stand steadily on THAT Rock at all times.
When the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the water is calm, I want to stand with “arms high and heart abandoned” to You.
And when the clouds roll in, the thunder crashes, the lightning strikes and the waves are vicious, I want to stand with “arms high and heart abandoned” to You.
My circumstances will change, will fluctuate wildly, even in the course of one day.
But my heart does not have to change with my circumstances.
I can choose to stay standing on You. In You. Because of You.
Because You love me.
Whether it feels like it or not.
Whether I see it or not.
Whether I believe it or not.
Whether the world agrees or not.
You love me.
I want to love You like that.
Please, give me the grace for this day to begin to love You like that.