“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, O God.” (Psalm 42:1 NLT)
My wife and I have two dogs – a Pug and a mixed-breed we rescued. We love them, but they’re a lot of work. They both love attention and affection, but our Pug’s greatest delight is . . . FOOD! Eating is her greatest pleasure.
What is your greatest pleasure? There are many things that bring me pleasure, but my greatest satisfaction is derived from my intimacy with God. When I was younger, I would marvel at stories I heard about how closely people walked with the Lord. How God would speak and guide and bless in ways that were very foreign to me then.
In this season of my life, I stand in awe of God. His majesty and glory, especially as they’re displayed through His creation, become platforms of praise and worship for me. His love, demonstrated in such practical ways – through His provision, His protection, His willingness to allow me to be involved in the work of His eternal Kingdom; the way He continues to speak to me and teach me through His Word, the Bible; as well as the relationships He’s given me across the years that continue to feed my soul and bless me in ways I couldn’t have imagined as a younger man. Especially my relationship with my wife.
Yet, as I take stock of my life and the way God has loved me, the most profound and awe-inspiring avenue in my walk with the Lord Jesus, is His willingness to be Emmanuel, which means, God with me. The privilege and pleasure of prayer, the gift of communication with Almighty God continues to challenge me and humble me as I realize just how incomprehensible He is, yet how approachable.
In Matthew 12:28-29 we read these words of Jesus: “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
If you’re employed by a large company or even attend a large church, it’s highly unusual for a new employee or someone new to the church to have an audience with the Owner/CEO of a company or Senior Pastor of a large church. Yet, here is the Son of God, God in human flesh, Creator, Sustainer, Ruler of everything that is, and He says to me (and you): “Come to Me.”
That is an invitation I can’t resist. My greatest pleasure is to have the honor of bowing my heart, mind, soul, and strength in the presence of my King, sensing His strong, loving arms surround me, and just resting in His loving, safe presence. Please understand, I’m not special. God doesn’t love me more than anyone else. How He feels about me is exactly how He feels about you.
His loving invitation is open and being extended to you in this moment. If you’re able, kneel before Him. Close your eyes and feel His gentle presence envelope you. You are the apple of His eye, the joy of His heart. Hear His soft whisper in these sacred moments as He says to you: “I love you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, how many times you’ve failed, how often you’ve fallen short, feeling you’ll never measure up. Trust Me to forgive you, cleanse you of all unrighteousness, enable you by My powerful Spirit abiding in you, to walk faithfully with Me in the joy of new life. Stop running and just find rest in Me.”
Blessings, Ed 😊