. . . the eyes of your hearts being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (Ephesians 1:18).
Did I ever have the idea that I might do something special on this earth, like having a gift that the whole world would like to see accomplished? I don’t think so. I never thought higher of myself than an inch above the dirt. The president of the university I attended went to Germany just before the Second World War started and somehow extracted their prima ballerina. He saved her from the ovens, and when I attended school, she was still there, so grateful someone thought her worthy of saving. Her friend, the well-known modern dancer, Martha Graham, had her school of dance in New York City. When I took the class of Dance with the prima ballerina, she contacted Martha, raved of my gift to dance, and Martha gave me a full ride, a full scholarship to her school of dance. I never took it. I never even told my folks about it. It terrified me to think I could accomplish something.
. . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, (Ephesians 1:17).
It takes wisdom and revelation to actually know Jesus. Knowing about Him isn’t enough. When I surrendered to His love, my mother told me I had to choose between her and Jesus. That was confusing. I knew Jesus. When I read that I must know Him in the power of His resurrection, I chose to pursue Him through that very thing. I imagined myself walking behind Him down to the Garden of Gethsemane, I went off to the side and prayed with Him three times, and then by His side, we found the disciples asleep. I walked with Him as the soldiers took Him to the house of Annas. I received the insults being thrown at Him. He kept quiet; I did, too. By the time they were shouting “Crucify Him,” I was accustomed to the crowd being against us in our suffering. Where were His family and friends? Where were mine? Would no one stand up for us?
I bore the cross with Him. I felt the nails pierce my hands and feet, just like He felt. I stayed with Him till the Resurrection brought Him back to life, and I listened to Mary’s dialogue with Him, thinking He was the gardener. He had to go to His Father. That trip I could not make. His blood was going to the Father, and together they would place it on the altar in heaven where it will remain forever, drawing all flesh to His side. He died for me. No one has ever volunteered to die for me. Only Jesus. Yes, I know Him.
. . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom, and revelation in the knowledge of Him, (Ephesians 1:17).
It’s God that I came to know first. I think I needed a Daddy more than I needed a King. I’d never had one. Much later I needed a King, but not at the beginning. I needed to know His love. As a pre-teen I used to climb out the dormer windows in my bedroom and sit on the roof in the middle of the night. My parents had gone to bed, my sisters were asleep, all of them on the ground floor, me in the attic, and the night was as quiet as a tomb. I needed to sit on the rough tiles of the roof where I could breathe.
I would look up in the sky, see all those stars, and marvel because something inside of me knew that whoever made all the shining lights of heaven, also made me and my world and loved me enough to put them in my sky. My heart sang to that someone, songs I made up on my roof. I needed that connection, no matter what, because down below, operating through those sleeping bodies, evil did it’s best to squash me. Thank God for my roof. Even when it was covered with snow, I crept outside, all bundled up, and sang to the heavens.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you (Jeremiah 31:3).
Sometimes I will stand still, deliberately, and throw my arms out to my sides and say, “Pour out your love on me, Lord, I need your love right this minute!” He is only too happy to comply. I close my eyes and throw my head back, and I can feel Him throw His arms around me and rub His cheek alongside mine. I then can walk away fulfilled as I know I am loved by the grandest love in the whole universe. I can hold out my arms to Him, even as a spiritual child, and He loves me like any parent loves their baby. He never pushes me away nor tells me He’s too busy for me. Never. He tells me I can come visit Him anytime I want, and he will never turn me away.
The Church must get over its dismal outlook of God and His feelings for us. He loves us, pure and simple. He created us so that He could love us. To pretend that we have to earn His love is preposterous. We don’t have to earn credits or obey any rules except to love. We work because our work is our expression of love for Him. Did you know that the work you do on this earth is actually a form of worship?
Frieda Lindsay, a strong woman of faith, who with her husband started “Christ for the Nations” in Texas, wrote the following:
“With nine of us children at home and no job, my father was desperate. He rented a house next door to a charismatic church which we attended. I had a loud voice, and the pastor called me to the platform to sing. The pastor, realizing our desperate financial predicament, came to my parents with this offer. ‘Allow us to adopt Freda.’ My little five-foot-two mother replied, ‘If I have to live on bread and water for the rest of my life, not one of our children will leave our home.’ At the age of six, I had my first real example of love.”
True human love is such a boost, a blessing, a comfort, an assurance. If only husbands would love their wives and likewise their wives love their husbands, instead of this incessant squabbling and competition. If only parents would love their children instead of belittling them, tormenting them, even torturing them.