The unofficial beginning of this post (AKA things I want to say that don’t really have anything to do with love but should be said because this is my first post on this blog. I suppose I could have just called them “opening remarks” or something like that. That would have worked too.):
Here we are.
And now that I’m here… I don’t actually have that much to say about my new blog. Just that I’m excited about it, and I’m going to do my best to post (ahem- semi-)regularly. See, right now it feels like posting regularly will be no problem at all. But I know myself. I know that I am just feeling the “new notebook high”. Is anyone else familiar with the feeling? Anyone at all? You know… that feeling of opening a new notebook and knowing that you get to write on the very first page. And when you press your pen to the paper, you can feel the soft thickness of the pages beneath that very top page, and it is a great moment. See, I love that moment so much that I have a problem when it comes to finishing notebooks. It is so hard to fill those last few pages of the old notebook when you know that such a pleasant moment awaits you with the new one. Don’t get me wrong…. I find a notebook that is full of writing almost equally as fascinating as an empty one. A book thick with handwritten words is beautiful. But an empty notebook, with smooth, blank pages? Now that is just inspiring and motivating. I guess I am a better starter than finisher. It’s always easy to come up with a good prologue for a book, or an attention-grabbing first sentence for a chapter or article. It’s the rest of it that takes some work. But don’t die on third, you know?
So yeah… right now, with my nice empty blog, it feels like it will be easy to post every Monday, (Yeah, I’m going to try to do Mondays regularly. But sometimes, it might happen on a Tuesday. Or a Saturday. Possibly a Sunday. Or even a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.) and to always have something to blog about. I am well-aware that it probably won’t always feel like that. But I am going to try to post regularly anyways. Because it will be good for me. And some bloggers post like three times a week. Surely I can do once a week, right?
We shall see. =)
The old blog is going to be exactly where it always has been (which is right here- http://autumnbennet.blogspot.com ) if you ever want to go back there for any reason.
(This post has officially begun.)
Can anybody think of anything more ironic than love?
I don’t know if I can.
Love is one of those things that is capable of being the best thing… and the worst thing. It can bring the greatest pleasure or the deepest pain. It can cause you to anticipate the future or regret the past. It can fill you with confidence or scare you to death. It has the power to make you laugh and make you cry. It can bring companionship or loneliness. Fulfillment and contentment or dissatisfaction.
It is a funny thing.
But can also be a sad thing.
I’m telling you- the irony is not lost on me. And the thing is, love means different things for different people. Everyone has had their own personal experiences with love, whether they were positive or negative.
I don’t know… but love is not coming across as a particularly stable thing right now. I mean, to me, it is pretty dependable. Because guess what? I have so many good people in my life. I have been blessed with people who love me. And I love them too. This worked out really well. The only times I have experienced the downside of love is through the pain that comes from being loved and loving in return, and then losing that love, due to death. Which is part of life, and cannot be avoided.
But you don’t have to look long or hard to see the pain that love can cause, because the after-effects of the selfishness, deceitfulness, shallowness, and impulsiveness of humans can be seen all around us.
But there is love that is dependable and unchanging…
Steadfast love. God’s love.
Actually, it goes deeper than that. Much deeper. This steadfast love is not just the way God feels towards us.
It’s what God is. The Bible says that God is love. It’s what makes up his very being. One of the things that makes Him tangible to us. Isn’t it awesome that God is the very thing we, as humans, need the most? That He can supply our most basic- and very deepest- longings just by being who He is? That He can comfort and heal aching, lonely, breaking hearts simply by moving close and wrapping us in Himself, if we allow Him to?
This amazes me every time I think about it.
I have been reading Psalms lately, and the phrase “steadfast love” is used many times in the ESV translation. It is a phrase that I am coming to find incredibly comforting and reassuring. So I’m going to end this post by sharing some of my favorite verses from Psalms about God’s love, or evidence of His love.
Psalm 52:8,9- “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.” I love the thought of being a “green olive tree in the house of God”. Doesn’t it just sound so… alive? Green indicates growth and renewal and rejuvenation (part of the reason I love Ireland :)). And you want something you can trust in forever and ever? What better to place your trust in than God’s love? I hear it’s steadfast. You can always trust in that love. This should be simple… but I, for one, know how to complicate things. And for some reason, it’s a whole lot easier for me to doubt love, or mentally go over all the reasons that I do not deserve love, than it is for me to accept it. But really… I might as well get over that. On account of all the steadfast love that is happening around here.
Psalm 56:8-11- “You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Evidence. Cold, hard evidence of God’s love. He keeps track of your tossings. This is so real to me, because when I have something on my mind, the first thing to go is my sleep. And I toss. And turn. God sees that. He keeps track of it. He keeps our tears. He writes them down. I don’t know why. But He sees us cry. He knows why we are crying. And He records that. And maybe someday, when we get to heaven, God will take us to his tear bottle room, and will say, “Look. Look at this, my beloved children. Shelves and shelves of bottles of tears. Your tears. Row upon row of pain and suffering and loneliness and fear and wondering if you were strong enough to survive what you were going through. But we did. You and I did it together, and you were incredible. And wasn’t it completely worth it?”. Because it will be worth it. (Okay, that was completely my imagination. I don’t know if God has a tear bottle room. I don’t know if there are shelves in heaven.)
Psalm 57:1-3,7,10- “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God most high, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness. My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” A steadfast heart in a world where things constantly change? Beautiful.
Psalm 62:5-8- “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” Were you waiting for an invitation? Cause you just got one. “Pour out your heart before him.” He wants you to. He will listen, and you will be safe in him.
Psalm 65 (all of it) is a beautiful picture of how God physically blesses the earth. Also, it contains the phrase “river of God”, and I love that phrase. It reminds me of the song “River of God”, by Meredith Andrews, which I also love. You can listen to it if you would like to. =) Right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGgEvGsZuM0. Also, at church on Sunday, Earl said something really beautiful in his message when he was talking about the growth of the church. He said something about God being like flowing water. And I love that image. It reminds me of movies like Prince Caspian and Lord of the Rings, where the water is like, alive, and has purpose and personality, and comes swooshing around the corner just when they need it most, splashing and consuming and spraying and just generally infiltrating. I love the thought of God doing that to the world. I love the thought of Him and His love washing over us, and trickling down, down, down, to the very last, hardest, driest person.
God’s love is beautiful and perfect. That’s all there is to it.
Well, I believe that I have talked about love long enough now. =) Mostly because it’s bedtime, and I’m tired. Definitely not because I have exhausted the topic!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!