Breathless from Relentless Love

How intimately our Father knows us! And oh, how he surprises me on a regular basis. Just when you think you have God’s intentions tracked and figured out . . .

Back on January 6, 2011, I thought I had been waiting in the dark and cold on January 1st on “A” Mountain for an unexpected appointment with Jessica to bless her with connection to City of Grace and our prayer team. Just three weeks ago I felt a prompting to call Jessica. I hadn’t seen her at church for a long time, wondered how she was doing, and really, really wanted her visionary prayers for my ongoing and seemingly headed for defeat battle for my husband’s faith and our marriage. Honestly, I have plunged into bouts of the deepest pain and despair I never imagined I could endure. So much for trusting God ruthlessly, as Brennan Manning writes in his book I read on my way to Chiang Mai in 2008. Had I only known then how I would need the ruthless love of Jesus one year later . . .

And that is exactly what showed up on “A” Mountain, though I didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t know it till April 13, on a day I was flat on the floor feeling totally abandoned and devastated by yet another sign that this war in and for my husband and our marriage is advancing ruthlessly on toward defeat. Prayer, prayer and guidance – “Oh, GOD,”- let’s be honest, I screamed – “show me your will! I need to hear you!” I reeled to the phone and dialed, forcing my voice to be calm.

“Hi, Jessica, it’s Rose. How are you?”

“Rose, I’ve been thinking about you for weeks, but I though you were probably too busy . . . .” (Note to me: NEVER assume anyone is too busy for me to call if the Spirit puts her/him on my mind!)

And thus began the conversation and prayer that totally changed my understanding of New Year’s Day. In our initial catching up Jessica revealed that she’s moved back across the valley and is attending our former church. “Hmmm . . . ., “my brain started churning, “Then what was January 1st about?”

Prayer followed catching up, and out of Jessica’s prayer for me poured visions of my husband, visions of our younger son, and visions for me, including “I see you in God’s arms. He cherishes you!”

How I wish I had a pencil and paper with me that afternoon to record her words accurately! To say I was blown away is to understate the lifting that was going on in my heart. What I do remember precisely was her momentary pause, then this instruction: “God wants to give you a new outfit . . . . He wants you to go buy a new outfit.”

How funny, how unexpected, and how I suddenly recognized that back on January 1, 2011, Jesus knew I would need Jessica’s insight and prayers on April 13! I though I was there for her, but Jesus placed her there on that cold rock for me! I know this; I know how many times God has maneuvered and moved me literally across the world to meet other people’s very pointed and specific needs at pointed, specific times.

He’s positioned me to carry his word and love for someone else, and what a jazzed juice that is for me to be part of what God Almighty is doing! But to experience him doing that for me – how humbling, how powerful, what a profound sense of his loving and knowing and being more than able!

Now this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep, and my sheep know me . . . . “ John 10:14

Oh, to be known by the Creator of the Universe – to be called HIS! Treasured, cherished, known!

So what did I do? Given the financial vise our joint checking account is in, I couldn’t afford to splurge on a new dress, but on April 14th after a doctor appointment, I went to Savers, a local thrift store chain, and found a spectacular ruddy crimson, gauzy, ankle-length dress embroidered with gold thread and gold sequins for – drum roll please – $6.99. I wore it last weekend while I presented the Sunday morning devotional message at a women’s retreat, testimony to the truth that our Father knows us uniquely as individuals and CARES PASSIONATELY about us, uniquely, as individuals, as his one-in-a-billion beloved child. That dress restored broken hearts! Thank you, thank you again, Father!

He showed up for me the next week at the fountain at the Forest of Uco at the Zoo, where I was waiting for a very late high school tour group to show up for their rainforest tour. Many people passed me heading up the trail, but one woman with her husband stopped and turned to me. “Rose . . . mary . . . Rose?” Fourteen years since I’ve seen her, but I recognized Jan immediately! She’s moved out of the valley and lives about 100 miles north now. Amazed and joyful reunion! We had a wonderful time of reconnecting and prayer right there in the middle of traffic, and to top it off, she and her husband are great friends of the brother of our counselor, who lives in the same town they do.

What are the odds? Spot on when Jesus is at work loving and knowing me. What does this mean for you? He knows you, truly knows you, and is already at work to meet your deepest heart needs with his ruthless, relentless, mighty, able, and more-than-willing love.

Yes, I believe in miracles . . . .