I have made much of God’s faithfulness to Himself in these first few posts because God has made much of His faithfulness to Himself to me over the last year and a half. Really, God has been preparing my heart to begin grabbing hold of that foundational truth forever. That’s one of the wonderful things about Him. He doesn’t care how thick-headed or dull you are, He’ll just keep repeating Himself until He sees the flame of comprehension begin to flicker.
I have to tell you that as I wrote that last sentence I felt a smile spread across my face because I had never realized before that “thick-headed” is my love language. Let me explain. The thing that God uses, more than anything else, to romance my soul and woo my heart is the revelation of the connections that flow between the Old and the New Testament. I love it when He says the same thing on both sides of the Covenant line — when He repeats Himself. Nothing, absolutely nothing, thrills my heart more than having His Word come to life that way. Nothing makes my heart, my mind, and my soul stand up and praise in such complete adoration. In that moment, my spirit knows what God meant when He told us that His words are life.
Since “thick-headed” might not be your love language, let me give you an example of what I mean. I won’t be able to describe the whole process to you or explain exactly the way God leads me from thing to thing, but I think I can give you enough so you understand just how sweet He is when He peels back the temporal and gives me these small glimpses—which are enormous for this everyday woman– of His glory.
So this is how it often unfolds for me, just change the place in the Bible I am reading and the thing that catches my eye. I open my Bible and read Genesis 3. My eye catches on the fact that part of the curse/consequence of sin is the land producing thorns. The Holy Spirit nudges me to wonder, “Do you think it’s possible thorns are linked to or symbolic of sin throughout the Scripture?” I haul out my Strong’s concordance or go to Biblegateway and search for the different Scriptures that have the word “thorn” in them. God has used that process to start my train of thought chugging down tracks, with the destination unknown, time and time again. That particular time, it played out like this:
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
The Problem: Thorns symbolize the curse
- Thorns were birthed by sin.
- They are the consequence/by product of sin and man will toil to be free of them
- The land has no choice but to produce them.
The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers.
The Promise: The curse will be consumed.
- A Savior — the Light of Israel — will come
- Sin will be consumed by the Savior
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
The Person: Christ wore the thorns/curse.
Choo! Choo! We have arrived and the view is beautiful. The thorns birthed by the curse in the opening chapters of Genesis have been overcome by the birth of redemption when our Jesus became the curse for us. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness and by his wounds we have been set free. No longer are we held captive and forced to produce “thorns and thistles” we may now produce a crop that is fruitful and receive the blessing of God. See the wonder of it. Feel the overwhelming sense of Him. God, who does not change (Malachi 3:6), leaves nothing unfinished. Everything comes to fruition in the Son, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Choo! Choo!
Now, you might be sitting there beside the tracks thinking, Bunny that does not trip my trigger at all. I heard the whistle sound in the distance and it isn’t that I don’t find it nice, but to say it thrills me might be a little strong. Well, take heart Sister, because while I might be dumbfounded that it doesn’t take you straight to the Holy of Holies, the One who matters is not! He knows what you need to hear and He planned before time began to speak straight to your heart. Do you really think He wouldn’t shout the “All Aboard” in your direction?
I have a beautiful Sister in Christ who indulges me all the time as I ramble on about the things God is showing me. And she is sooo thrilled . . . for me. Because at the end of the day, God says it, she reads it, it’s true. End of story. She doesn’t have the compulsion to know every detail. That is not the language of her soul. She loves to hear me talk about it. She loves His truth. But what stirs her heart is when you put that truth to music. Music is the thing that leads her to that place of complete immersion and adoration. And isn’t it just like God that He gifted her with song so they speak the same language fluently.
Not so long ago this sweet friend was struggling with some serious health issues. The symptoms she had been experiencing could’ve pointed toward some very dire neurological diagnosis. A series of tests were ordered and as the day for their completion drew near we earnestly prayed that God would bless her with peace and a calm heart. She arrived for her tests and entered the unfamiliar building with a heart full of confidence that God would be with her every step of the way. And that same heart thought of her two kids and her husband and what God might call them all to walk through. But true to His Word, her God did not leave her for a moment. No, her God was right there preparing to sing a love song just for her. After signing in, an older gentleman approached her in his volunteer vest and explained that he would be escorting her to the testing location. She gathered her things and began to walk at his side. As they journeyed down that corridor, with her heart full of her family, the old gentleman began to sing, “I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul . . . “ And she did. Because the God of the Universe, the Lover of her soul, bent down low and whispered in her ear. She had heard, in the voice of that old gentleman, the truth of God.
“The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Dear One, never doubt for a moment that the Creator of communication is fluent in the language of your unique soul. To her who has an ear, let her hear.
Side Note 2: (Read this part in a whisper so no one knows that I couldn’t end without telling you just a thing or two more) –I have the paper in front of me that has all the verses I looked up that particular day and it’s long. It wasn’t what we needed for this example but I have to tell you I am totally agonizing about not painting the whole picture so please, when you have the time go to Numbers 33:55 because you’ll find out there that sin hurts if you hang out with it. If you go to Judges 9 you’ll see what you give up if you not only allow it but actually ask it to rule over you. And Ezekiel 2:6 is where we discover that even though sin and rebellion surround us we need not fear. And then in the New Testament read the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8 because we need to know that sin can choke us to death. All aboard!!