I took a trip to another state once (around New Year’s) and witnessed a remarkable conversation that impacted me so much, that it was almost worth the entire trip just to hear it! (I’ve written about this before, but if you don’t remember it, it’s really worth reading on)
A bunch of people were gathered in the home where I was staying, both friends and neighbors, and everyone was relaxed and enjoying a good time. There were two people present named Tim and Alley.
Tim and Alley were not married, but were obviously a couple, and they were sitting together on the couch. In the course of the evening someone in the group asked Alley what her dreams or goals were for the year. The whole room seemed to go silent. I watched as this young lady crinkled her nose slightly and roll her eyes up and to the side to give it some thought. Then, far quicker than I would have imagined for such a profound answer, she responded with a happy smile,
“My number one goal this year is to fall more and more in love with Tim.”
Well, I don’t know which impacted me more. This response of hers, which she confidently said in front of him and everyone, or the reaction it got from Tim. He reached over and grabbed her, pulling her into his arms with delight. “I knew you were going to say that!” he responded, hugging her close and giving her a kiss on the head. He then followed up by saying with a beaming smile and full of pride, “Yep, that’s my girl, and she’s all mine!”
I thought of little else the rest of the evening. I thought of how fast she said it. How boldly she said it. And of all the things she didn’t say. I noted how she didn’t recite a list of goals and things to do in order to be worthy of this man’s love. She didn’t respond, “My dream is that Tim would fall more in love with me.” She didn’t even respond, “My goal is to love Tim more and more,” which if you think about it closely, almost implies fear and insecurity.
Now despite the fact that “falling” in love isn’t the best way to describe true love, there is a gist of what this woman said that I hope you hear the same way I heard it. To say as she did, “My goal is to fall in love with Tim more and more” meant that she was purposing herself to be wooed by him. Her goal was to delight in a proactive love in him that she already assumed was there.
It is no wonder that this Tim responded the way he did! When she genuinely expressed that he was “willing and able” to love her and capture even more of her heart, you could see he visibly melted with a desire to be the cause and effect of even more responsive, appreciative love from her. This was not a woman who was worried, striving, or trying to measure up. She wasn’t perfect, obviously. She simply believed that she was the one that he already loved, and she purposed herself to stay in this confidence.
That We’d Be Captivated…
All of this came to mind again when reading a recent devotional by T. Austin-Spark.* (Based upon the verse that “Christ may be all, and in all,” Colossians 3:11)
“I wonder, dear friends, what you covet and pray for more than anything else. For my own part, my coveting, my praying is more than for anything else, a fresh and mighty captivation of the Lord Jesus, a captivation of Christ. Oh, it is quite true, and we know it, that He is our Life, He is our Savior, He is so much to us and we are right when we say that we could not live without Him. And yet, is there not some margin between that and what I am calling an absolute captivation with Christ? That He is a passion in our lives, that He is a dominating power in our lives. Language fails… that He has just so captured us, so utterly captured us, that not only is He our Life in the sense that we couldn’t get on without Him, but that He is a passion for living. …… Christ is more than everything. Christ is in the ascendant, it is “Christ will be All, and in all.” Now I say, language fails, I cannot put into words what I mean, but oh, for the positiveness of this passion of Christ…”
I agree. Language fails! It fails to put into words that deep longing to “fall more and more in love” (be more captivated) with Christ.
It fails to explain this emptiness I’ve been feeling lately at all the words being spoken ‘about’ Christ, and all the confused wrangling over what is right, wrong, truth or lie; all of which feeds the mind, I guess, but has not been bringing me to that place of intense, spiritual passion for Christ that has been missing.
I just want to be honest here. I’m discontent. I love Christ – always have – but there’s this new insatiable desire to fall deeply in love with Him this year. Whatever it costs, and however long it takes. Sadly we’re not able to go back and undo mistakes made in the past. Neither is it possible to instantly restore everyone’s broken love or trust. It’s only with a hopeful heart that I personally push on, allowing the Bridegroom’s love to turn this bride’s tears into rejoicing. I know that everyone will get lost at certain times in their lives, but how humbling it feels when the path comes back to His willing arms.
In anticipation of this New Year…
“That I might know Him, and the power of His resurrection,” Phil. 3:10