It’s been awhile ever since I did a 1-day Sabbatical. it’s basically a day that I set aside between me and God. One whole day/afternoon of just praying, worshipping, seeking, and soaking. So yesterday I decided to go on a 1-day Sabbatical and drove an hour to check out this nature trail I’ve never gone before. It’s suppose to have a really nice and awesome view of the BayArea once you get to the top and also it has a series of waterfalls as you hike your way up.
As I hiked my way to the top, I listened to the audio bible version of the book of Hosea. I probably listened to all 14 chapters maybe at least 3-4 times. I began praying, praising God and marvel at his word, his heart, his character and obviously being in a place where it’s very naturistic made me feel ‘close’ to God. Idk why, maybe that’s just me coz I know He’s everywhere but for some reason nature is where my ‘secret place’ is. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get to the very top of that mountain. I passed by so many waterfalls and awesome scenery.
I finally made it to the very top of that mountain. I found a rock bench and sat there and this time I read through the whole 14 chapters of the book of Hosea. Still praying, talking to God and asking Him to speak to me. My time with him was very intentional. My purpose was to seek him, commune with him, hear from him, and receive from him. It wasn’t a time for me to intercede for others rather it was just a time for me to be still before my Father.
After reading the whole chapter, I stood up, looked over the city and once again, I was amazed by his creativity, loving, gracious heart and his over all majesty. I put my ipod on and worshiped and just praised him. I lost track of time and I must’ve spent 2 hours. So then I went and hiked down and this time I listened to all worship songs and just sang, and worshiped him on my way down. I have to say, I didn’t really have an ‘aha’ moment when I was on the top of that mountain. I didn’t really hear him ‘speak’ to me, even though I asked him to but instead he revealed his heart to me through his word, that alone was enough for me.
So I got to my car and started driving. And I’m thinking, “I have awhile before I get home so I’m gonna continue praying..” Next thing you know I found myself asking God with questions. I asked,
"God, what you did to the Israelites in the book of Hosea. You loved them inspite of their unfaithfulness. Yeah, you were angry but it didn’t stay for too long. You kept pursuing them even though they pursued other things. You kept loving them even though they turn away from you and in the end you still desired to be in a relationship with them. That’s so scandalous. Why God? Why do you love people? Why do you keep doing this? Why are you the way you are? So loving? I want to know why, and I wanna know the answer. Please. I will wait. I have a long drive and I will wait."
So I waited.. and waited and waited. And I didn’t hear anything. So I said, “I guess I’m not getting my answers tonight huh? Hmm. okay. AND THEN, God flips the switch, He answered me by asking me a question..
"Mark, why do you love Kaitlyn? Why are you pursuing this girl? What is it about her that made you love this girl so much? Is it because of her physical features? Is it because of her godly character? Is it because of her heart? What is it? Why do you love this girl? Answer me and I’ll answer you back.
So then I answered back and said,
"God, I honestly, I don’t really know why. I simply just love her. It’s a decision and a choice I made to love her. I mean yeah she’s beautiful both inside and out and those things definitely increase my love, affections and adorations towards her, those things can definitely cause my heart to grow more and more in love with her but that’s really not the reason why I love her, I simply just love her and there’s no long lists of reasons and it’s a choice I made and I have massive peace about it.
And then God answered me back and said,
"Exactly Mark. That’s exactly how I feel about you. The reason why I love people and I do what I do because I simply just do and that’s who I am. The reason why I love you so much and inspite of your shortcomings and your unfaithfulness no matter how many times you’ve broken it, I’m still here loving you and I don’t really have any reason why I love you, I just simply do. And my love for you is long suffering, radical, sacrificial and unconditional.
You guys, after He said, that, I lost it. I started sobbing, so much so that I had to pull over coz I couldn’t drive anymore and my arms weren’t still anymore. And as soon as I pulled over and parked my car, I let it all loose. I wept like a baby and just melted in my car and His spirit descended like a dove and embraced me with his very presence. it was so beautiful to know and learn about the Father’s heart and his love for us. We don’t deserve an ounce his love and there are definitely no list of reasons why he loves us, he simply just does. That’s so liberating to know that we don’t earn our place no matter how much we try to please him or ‘do good’ things, his love is constant, long suffering, enduring, sacrificial, unconditional. His love truly never fails. So when you feel like giving up, remember to place yourself in the shoes of that prodigal son. That while he was wallowing up in his sins and his unworthiness, his father ran and embraced him and welcome him. God’s love for you is like that. It’s furious and passionate love. His love is incomparable and everlasting.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ Luke 15:20-21”
Grace and Love in Christ,