"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My date with God.

Here I am sitting in the lobby of the Embassy Suites in Birmingham AL awaiting check-in and Deeper Still. I am on a date with the most amazing gentleman ever- my date with God, which I have been preparing for, and mentally and hopefully awaiting since I booked the trip in January. I arrived way early by most people’s standards and in what would typically be my standard. I usually hate to waste time and what could I better do with my time from 10:30 am Eastern time to now 2:37 pm Central time than sitting in a hotel lobby unable to check in early for a failing computer system at the hotel and a general check in time of 3:00 pm CST. So many people would wonder why I left Chattanooga this morning to arrive to this day of waiting, sitting and fasting (for I just did not want to stop my time alone with God to eat.)

As I sat here I finished the book Radical by David Platt. This book, I must say is one of the most challenging books for my faith as a Christian that I have ever read. It challenges Christianity as we know it living the American dream and what actual radical Christianity looks like and was intended through the teaching of Jesus. It is a difficult book to read for it hits home and strikes so many nerves it is painful to read. What other book have I read that points out that I alone with my meager part time income (even without Ernie’s) am wealthier than 84% of the rest of the world and that thousands of children will die of starvation as I write this post. Thousands more adults will die and enter a Christ less eternity as I write. If you are unaffected by these numbers then I want to share one more number with you. 4.5 billion people in the world do not know Christ and over a billion have never even been introduced. This doesn’t even take into account the number of people carrying the name of Christ and do not actually know Him. So what are we to do about this? Read the book and it challenges you in a number of ways.

As I sat here reading the book I came across some scripture that hit home in such a way that I have to try to describe. First I must share a story.

Yesterday on my drive between Johnson City and Knoxville, I witnessed a terrible thing. Now before I tell you, I want you to remember (if you knew to begin with) that I am an advocate for the sanctity of all life and usually am drawn to the lessers and the lowers (for example-- I do think that Charlie Brown’s tree was perfect and chose one as mine and Ernie’s first Christmas tree our first Christmas together.) As I was driving at a safe distance behind a pick-up truck, I watched as a small cat darted across the interstate and I gasped for I knew what was about to happen. As the truck hit the cat I cried out “Oh, no!” I watched as the cat severely injured, scramble to get off the interstate without the use of it back legs and I noticed as I passed that it had all but knocked off the cats hind legs. As you can imagine (if you know me at all) I was sobbing at this point and trying not to worry my concerned daughters. I am in tears just recalling this story. All I could think about was this injured cat sitting on the side of the road suffering. I prayed over my thoughts of this cat and actually prayed scripture. I recalled God’s promise that not a sparrow falls to the ground without him knowing. I prayed for the cats... well it is beside the point what exactly I prayed for and is too horrible to continue thinking about. My thoughts immediately went to if I was so distraught over this cat that what stronger feelings God must have for me. Then I left those thoughts and went on my journey with a deep sadness for this cat.

Back to Radical... As I read the book there were a handful of scripture Platt used, but in one section he used this scripture that I had prayed over the cat. It made me think about how if I could have such strong feelings over this stupid cat, then how much more love and grief could God have over me? Funny thing is that when my sister arrived at the hotel, I had to tell her all about the book, tell her what I just told you about the cat and the scripture references and then we went to dinner (at the Cheesecake Factory I have to add!) Later that night we heard Kay Arthur speak—the wisest of women and a true Proverbs 31 woman. WOW! Anyways, she was speaking to us about God’s love for us and taught the WHOLE book of Matthew in about an hour or so and mentioned the sparrow scripture as a reference to God’s love. Here it was the third time that this scripture had been spoken in this same day in much unrelated occurrences but very similar context. It was God adoring me and sharing His affections toward me on our date. Now don’t take that as the highlight of the weekend. I got to adore and worship Him too.

You know like the steps of a date with you and your spouse? 1- The car ride to the date and the excited conversation about what all you expect to do and get out of your date. And step 2- doing something together to make a treasured memory and step 3- coming home and worshipping one another (so to speak) and step 4- intimate pillow talk.

So after some amazing worship time and 2 days of teaching (good sound Biblical teaching I will share with you in another post) much of which just built on the challenges presented in the book Radical which I had just finished, Beth Moore introduced a special guest who would pray over us 13,900 women as we left the conference. It just so happened to be David Platt author of Radical. It was God signing His name to the bottom of this treasure creating its authenticity.

I can’t describe the intimacy between God and me on our way back to Jonesborough. I was so entangled in worship and praise that I missed several phone calls. I did some serious prayer and thanksgiving for the date and for how He treated me with such love. He is THE perfect gentleman and the perfect date.

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