Finding a Love Who Will Never Leave
This was originally posted at http://www.brooke-nicole.net/2013/08/singleness-series-guest-post-by-charity.html
When I was a teenager, I read an article written by another young woman about singleness. She said she didn’t have a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, and that it was fine because Jesus was her boyfriend. I thought it was one of dumbest things I had ever read. My response was, “I don’t care how awesome Jesus is, Jesus can’t send you flowers or get you sweet gifts on Valentine’s Day! I would rather a hot boy arrive at my door with a giant stuffed teddy bear and a bouquet of roses then tell everyone that Jesus is my boyfriend, while I go to the store and buy myself Dove chocolate to eat alone.”
Although I disagreed with the article, it placed this question in my mind, “could someone really be ok with being single on Valentine’s Day because they knew Jesus?” I didn’t understand how Jesus could invade my life in such an intimate way that He could be as real as a boyfriend who brings flowers to your door. I had yet to discover Jesus as my lover.
I vividly remember the day I felt Jesus pursue me as a lover.
I was walking across my college campus in Oregon surrounded by large trees and lush lawns. As I walked along noticing the grandeur of the pine trees and the fresh crispness of the air, my heart ached with loneliness. I looked around as friends and acquaintances held hands with their beloved and I longed for my hand to be held too.
It was then I saw a picture in my mind of Jesus walking next to me, as He walked beside me, he gently took my hand as we walked together. As this sequence flashed through my mind, I felt a heavy sensation in my hand and a warm tingling feeling that extended from my wrists to my finger tips.
Shocked, I realized Jesus was holding my hand! Not in a metaphorical way, because He is always present. Jesus was literally holding my hand. I stopped and thought about what my other hand that was not being held felt like. It felt completely different, cold and limp.
I continued walking in dumfounded amazement until my astonishment became sheer bliss. The King of the universe, the Savior of the World was holding my hand. He wanted to be with me. He wanted to hold my hand and walk closely and hear my heart when no one else did.
He was present as Immanuel, God with us. God with me, God with my hand! The sensation continued until I arrived back at my dorm. I continued to experience the romantic pursuit of Jesus through his hand holding throughout my college and post college years until I started to date my husband, almost ten years later.
Sound Crazy? Sound Awesome? Sound miraculous? You are right! It was!
The Bible is full of language that captures our heart into a grand and miraculous story.
As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
We are meant for a life filled with love, where we are the bride and He is the bridegroom. I found out that cold, rainy day that it was a story I could live in, now, without my earthly groom. There was a story I was meant to live in regardless of my relationship status. My desire for my earthly husband did not decrease, but it meant whether single, dating, engaged or married, I knew I was pursued, cherished, safe and swept up into a beautiful romance. It meant that I expected and waited to be wooed by a lover who will never leave, Jesus Christ.
It could be that today that your heart is crying out for intimacy. I recently got married at the age of 29 and had spent the previous decade, waiting, wondering and longing for my earthly husband. Without experiencing the intimacy and pursuit of Jesus in such a tangible way the pain of my longing would have been unbearable.
If you feel alone, if your heart is crying for romance, affection, security, ask Him for it. Ask Him to come, and He will. You may not feel His tangible presence in your hand, but He will come to you. Immanuel, God with us, will answer the deepest cries of your heart. He alone can fill you.
Have you experienced God in a way, that blew your preconceived ideas of who He is? I would love to hear about it! What does it mean to you to be the bride of Christ?