February 8, 2019
"O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am." Psalm 139:1 (VOICE)
I found her sulking by the window as the sun sank fast in the evening sky.
"What's wrong?" I asked my 4-year-old.
"Daddy's playing baseball with Josh again," she complained with a sigh.
I peered through the smudgy glass and saw my husband standing in the front yard with a baseball mitt on one hand and a small white ball in the other. Our son, Joshua, stood a few feet away, poised with a wooden bat and a wide grin.
The crack of the bat sent Joshua racing across the yard with his daddy in close pursuit, and the preschooler beside me stomped her foot in frustration.
Confused, I asked, "Do you even like playing baseball?"
After all, this was the girl who slept in ballet tutus and accessorized every outfit with a pair of pink plastic heels. This was the girl who preferred spas to sports and singing over sweating.
"Nooooo," she replied with a mopey harrumph. "I don't want to play baseball. I just want Daddy to chase me, too."
Suddenly, the laughter rising in my throat morphed into a clumsy lump of tears. My daughter didn't want to play catch. She wanted to be caught.
Her childlike honesty stirred my soul and tugged me down memory lane ...
I remembered sitting in Bible study as a young woman, feeling a bit like my pouty preschooler. I wasn't watching my daddy play baseball in the yard. I was listening to my friends describe the ways God was pursuing them with His love.
He was speaking to one in visions. And wooing another through prayer. He'd healed someone's wounds and rescued another from addiction.
I listened with awe, and, like my littlest girl, I wanted my Heavenly Father to chase me, too!
However, when I compared my own story with that of my friends, I began to wonder if He was pursuing me at all.
God wasn't speaking to me in visions or healing me with a mighty hand. He was wooing me in a quieter way. When I opened my Bible, I was overwhelmed by His tender presence. The Scriptures felt like His whispers of love to my wandering soul.
God was chasing me down with His love, but I couldn't see it through my muddied lens of comparison.
Then, one night, when I opened my Bible and scribbled a poem in my journal, I saw it clearly for the first time - the Living Word was wooing me through my quirky love for words!
The words of worship that filled my journals, the praises I scribbled on scraps of paper, the Scripture I sang in the dark of night - those weren't just declarations of my love for God; they were expressions of His affection for me, too. God was chasing me through rhythm and rhyme and tear-stained prayers, through wobbly songs and wistful wonderings.
Suddenly, I was captured by the intimacy of His love and the propensity of His pursuit. And I was ashamed of my own sulky soul.
That night, I asked God to keep my eyes open to the ways He woos my heart. And I vowed to never again compare my love story with anybody else's.
After all, Psalm 139:1-6 reminds us that God's love isn't indiscriminate; it's intimate.
He doesn't just enfold our hearts; He explores them.
He doesn't just know our deeds; He understands our depths.
"O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am" (Psalm 139:1).
It's the most amazing feeling to realize how deeply God knows me, inside and out; I truly cannot begin to comprehend it! (Psalm 139:6)
When we pay attention to the unique ways God loves us, we trade comparison for contentedness and exasperation for awe.
The sky beyond the window was growing dark, and my preschooler was growing tired. So I leaned low and helped her to see.
"You know how Daddy runs after you when you're playing hide and seek? Or how he tries to catch you when you're playing tag?"
My daughter's lips upturned into a soft pink smile.
"That's how he chases you, too," I whispered.
My girl's shoulders straightened and her eyes danced with glee. Then, she turned from the window and headed to her bedroom.
"Put on your pajamas," I urged. "Daddy will come inside soon to kiss you goodnight."
"Okay," my littlest girl said as she skipped away. "But first he'll have to catch me!"
Dear Father, thank You for chasing me with Your love. Open my eyes to Your personal pursuit of my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 139:17-18, "How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!" (NLT)
Share the love of Christ this Valentine's Day! Whether it's for your daughter or a special group of friends, you'll find the perfect gift in our Valentine's Day collection to remind her that she's loved. Click here to find just the right gift!
"What are you giving up for Lent this year?" It's a question that gets tossed around during the Easter season, but what does it really mean? How can Lent help draw us toward Jesus? Take a look at our exclusive Lent collection, with products designed to help you focus on Jesus and experience Easter in a new way this season. [Shop the collection.]
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How is your Heavenly Father pursuing you right now? If you're having trouble thinking of something, pray and ask God to reveal how He's wooing you.
Join the conversation! We'd love to hear your thoughts about how God shows you His love.
© 2019 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.