I, like many women, am a romance lover. I’m extremely picky about the romance stories I read, for I want them to portray the awesome beauty of how God intended the love between a man and a woman to be…but when I find those that meet my stringent criteria, how I love them!
One of my favorite romance “themes” is the he’s-loved-her-all-his-life variety. These are the stories where she’s grown so used to seeing him as a friend that it takes a mighty revelation to learn to see him as a man.
I think what I love about these romance stories so much is the devotion…the way he loves her despite all the mistakes she’s made over the years…despite all of the character faults which he knows quite well…despite the fact that she receives some of the benefits of the love he silently lavishes upon her, without even realizing what she’s receiving…despite the fact that she dreams of someone else loving her.
Over the weekend, I re-read part of one of these. They’re actually mystery stories, but woven among the adventure and mystery is a romance. He had a crush on her in the earlier books, when he was a boy. But as the books went by and he grew into a man, his love grew and matured and became something powerful enough to last sixteen years of waiting and hoping. Wow. Those kinds of stories just melt my heart.
“This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” That’s what Paul had to say about it in Ephesians 5:32.
Sunday morning, on the way to church, thoughts of the story I’d read drifted through my mind, and I spoke to God about it. Lord? Why do I love this story so much? What can I learn about You in it?
“You love this story because this is how I love you,” He said. “I created you to long for that kind of love, and deep down, your heart recognizes that this is how I love you. For I love you despite all the mistakes you’ve made over the years. Despite all of the character faults that I know so well. Despite the fact that you’ve never acknowledged many of the benefits of the love that I silently lavish upon you. Despite the fact that you dream of other lovers.“
That last one bowled me over, because it’s true. Every false god in my life…everything I try to satisfy the longing in my soul with…every dream of happiness I entertain that does not give credit to God as the giver and Source of that happiness…is a lover I chase after.
And yet He still loves me, and waits, and waits, and woos me with gifts I still fail to recognize.
But think of the moment in the romance when she finally does return the love of the man. Think of the overwhelming joy he feels! To be loved in return!
It is the hope of that joy that keeps God going as He loves, and loves, and loves, and loves. And it is humbling to realize that my love means that much to Him!
And so I realize that these gifts I am counting are wooing gifts. Gifts from a King who has loved me all my life, despite everything.
191. This revelation of endless love
192. The love He has and is even when I ignore Him.
193. The love He shows me even when I dream of finding happiness through a bigger house, or more money, or a prettier outfit.
194. Love that told me “You are beautiful” the other week, right in the middle of my absolute grouchiness.
195. The hundreds of grape hyacinth bulbs that I found
196. That my lilac transplant is living
197. The feeling I get when my hands are buried in the dirt
198. Chili and fun and fellowship
199. Work that wears us out and…
200. The strength to keep going anyway.
201. OHVA and…
202. That they organize state testing and help us prepare for it.
203. The peace He gave my kids as they took those massive tests
204. Beautiful trees that withstand strong gusts of wind
205. Needed rain
206. A roof over my head
And the millions of wooing gifts He’s given me over the course of my life that I’ve missed.
1 thought on “The mystery of romance…”
Thanks Katie….even a few days after my wedding and while enjoying the beautiful Bahamas…I need to be reminded of this. It's all too easy to not be happy with what we have and want more and better. I feel so needy in the love dept at times, but realize if I wasn't spent the time with that I am…if sometimes I was God and ignored…I would be very sad. We forget sometimes God is very emotional…and just think He is "God". Thank you for giving that reminder…it was greatly needed. =)