One of my favorite quotes is a lyric from Mumford and Sons. “In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life” I don’t think we realize the extent to which the direction we point our affections affects our whole life.

Wisdom from Clive 😉

I spent last weekend in Yosemite National Park camping, hiking, being crazy and having some amazing God time. The second morning there I was reading out of a lil’ book  of C.S. Lewis quotes as part of my devotional. I came across a passage that was talking about Love not being self-sufficient. I realized the reason many of us fail at living lives in love, for love and through love is because we take it to be self-sufficient. Love is only love because of what we invest in it. Even Jesus’ love for creation was not complete in and of itself but needed faith and action to prove itself unshakable and true. Jesus’ death on the cross was the fulfillment of love. Faith and action awoke the true nature of Chist’s love!

C.S. Lewis used the analogy of an untamed garden. A garden at its birth is this perfect beautiful thing but the minute you stop tending to it, it becomes overgrown and eventually nearly its own wilderness…and…THAT IS love. The minute we give up…or leave it on its own it becomes this complicated and nearly unmanageable thing that can hardly even be called love. I’ve been asking God why I’ve felt so distant from Him lately as if it’s His fault. Then I read this passage and realized it has nothing to do with Him. I’ve been allowing myself to become distracted with dreams, ambitions, work, relationships. God has pursued me more adamantly than a love-sick man…and my reciprocity so often is half-hearted. How unfortunate! I’ve not been fighting for anything outside of just maintaining my walk with Him…He is constantly fighting for me! It’s in the battle that love reaches it’s pinnacle. I don’t think we even realize how full our love relationship with Christ can be most of the time because we’re so busy chasing our momentary, earthly loves.

Loneliness issue…or idol issue?

Much of our culture…especially our single culture struggles with loneliness….but I can’t help believe that more than a loneliness issue it’s a “who or what is your God?” issue. Of course we are humans and we were made for companionship. That’s natural and it’s also completely natural to desire a boyfriend or spouse but the point at which it becomes unhealthy is when we desire that over God. If we spend every waking moment thinking about how we want or need to be in a relationship….and If we view marriage as the pinnacle of life then of course we’re going to be lonely when we’re not in a relationship. However, I’ve realized the most full, joyful and least lonely times of my single life have been the years that I’ve not idolized a relationship…the times when God was SO at the forefront of my mind that nothing else in the world mattered. It’s only then that we realize God has already given us everything we need to live our lives full….because Life is SO full!!…and every moment we have hundreds of people right in front of us who need our love…and hundreds of opportunities to use our gifts to impact culture and transform lives. The sad part of it is most of us are so busy chasing our idols and earthly loves that we don’t even realize what we’re missing out on. A romantic relationship…or a dream career…or whatever you idolize should rather be more like the cherry on top of a life lived selflessly for others. Instead we’ve made it the pinnacle of our whole lives. Pastor Tim Chaddick, last Sunday morning drove that point home like I’ve heard few others times in my life. He pointed to the fact that we all have that one thing in our life that we say, “If only I had that, I would be happy”. I realized I do that all the time with my dreams and ambitions. I think we all need to ask ourselves what that one thing is because your answer will show you exactly who or what your God is.

Why ask for a thimble if God has already given you the ocean?

A few weeks ago I wrote a simple worship song called “Enough”. It came through this revelation of feeling my heart being pulled towards an affection… and I felt like God was saying, “you need to give this to me and trust that I’m in control” and in that process I felt so much freedom….and realized it’s in the relinquishing of what we hold dear that the real source of our love is  tested. If there’s anything or anyone in our lives that we can’t hold out to God with an open hand…that’s a good sign that God isn’t our only God…and He isn’t our first love. That evening God was reminding me of some of the earliest moments I remember in my Christian walk…the days of being a young teenage girl and being so enveloped in love with Him that nothing else mattered to me. I realized once you experience seasons like that in your life anything less will never satisfy…I realized the extent to which God’s love is the only love that will ever satisfy. Why would I settle for any less?…and why would I search for any thing more? Jon Piper says it best, “Why ask for a thimble if God has already given you the ocean?”

Below are the lyrics for the song,

verse:

Take me back to where I once was

When your love was all I knew

The sweetest touch of a fathers love

Formed my world into Your truth

chorus:

Only your perfect love, only your shed blood

Could ever be enough, will ever be enough for me

Only your father’s heart, only Your pure touch

Could ever be enough, will ever be enough for me

verse:

Take me back to where you spoke to me

And my world was complete

The very breath that breathed this life in me

Awakes me now to sing…

chorus:

Only your perfect love, only your shed blood

Could ever be enough, will ever be enough for me

Only your fathers heart, only your pure touch

Could ever be enough, will ever be enough for me

October 13, 2011

Mandy Dobbelmann

Founder and editor of Forte E Bello. Mandy is writer, singer/songwriter, and music teacher with a love for life, people, adventure and living simply. She is passionate about using her gift for writing and music to be a voice for change.

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