Monday, March 15, 2010

Marinating in the furious longing of God

Recently I've been reading Brennan Manning's "The Furious Longing of God".

Furious Longing

The title intrigued me. The little jacket info about Mr. Manning was intriguing - recovering alcoholic, former priest, lived in cave, ministered to shrimpers....

So I read this short intriguing book and I found it.....hard to engage with. I liked it well enough. I enjoyed the language - Mr. Manning uses language that tends to leave me feeling raw and exposed - in a good way. But the general theme - God loves me - was what got in the way. As I was reading I was thinking - yeah, yeah....I get that God loves me. What else is there in this little book that I can wrestle with? And so I was underwhelmed.....but some of it stuck.

In his book Mr. Manning encourages the reader - through stories of his own experiences - to marinate in some verses and phrases. The two that stuck with me were:

Abba, I belong to you.

I am my beloved's and His desire is for me. (Song of Solomon 7:10)

I found myself repeating those phrases over and over. Not only for myself but on behalf of others as well. They became the background prayer while I was running, doing errands, etc.

And then I re-read the book.....again.....and yet again. Today, I was in the doctor's office and had the opportunity to read it for about the 5th time in the past 6 weeks and it hit me totally different. I am the object of God's love - with no pre-condition....just as I am. I am His. He desires me....each day....upon arising He is waiting to engage with me. He is watching over me as I sleep. His love for me never rests....never settles....never runs away but rather is active, alive, pursuing.

Somehow - after marinating with these phrases, I have awakened to God's love for me in a new, fresh way. I am experiencing God's "furious longing" for me....

Thanks Mr. Manning....for being a vessel that God speaks through this day.

If anyone would like to borrow an intriguing little book let me know....

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