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