By Hannah Post
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Call me stubborn, opinionated, maybe even self righteous. It’s not that I believe God doesn’t know what’s right for me but sometimes I feel like its contradiction to what I want. It is beyond difficult, almost inconceivable to conceptualise that God knows us so personally, so intimately that as He said in Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
But how, I keep screaming in every corner of my mind, how could someone know me so deeply and irrevocably, because to know the very essence of my being knows how completely flawed, broken and sinful I am. By our very human nature we turn away from unappealing things, those that are messy, broken, complicated and unloved. But the answer to that almost impossible question lies in the fact that God isn’t us, He isn’t human.
He is the creator of the universe, He holds within Him all of time before us all of time after us, He is the core and originator of all things of beauty and goodness. He doesn’t hold our imperfections in his eyes, He holds our goodness and our goodness is a perfect yet minuscule reflection of all the goodness He holds.
Why would He judge us by our faults when He loves us in a way that is so abundant and ever-augmenting, the most pure and genuine love, one that asks for nothing in return.
I spent a year, straight out of school living in England away from my family and loved ones, voyaging on a massive quest of self improvement and fulfilment. I dealt with a lot in the process of independence and upon my arrival home I bought with me this counterfeit belief that I could accomplish whatever I wanted without the assistance of anybody. This led to me to believe that I was ok, I could live without God. Even though I was distancing myself from God, I know He wasn’t distancing Himself from me.
I came back to Australia to the abundant joy of reconnecting with my family of six who I dearly missed. Being back though simultaneously broke my heart, the boy and friends which I loved abundantly had adapted and moved onto with their life in a way in which didn’t include me. It’s hard to be so assured of God’s love, when my human experience of love broke my heart. I’m also understanding though, that my longing is so disproportionate to the longing He feels for me to know Him greater, to live my life in the light of Him, as a daughter of His.
I came home to the same question I left with “so what are you planning for this year.” I had been asked time and time again to consider Youth Ministry, yet I pushed it away with great frivolity and certainty, ‘this isn’t what my plans were supposed to be’, this isn’t what I envisaged myself doing. Yet, despite every bone in my body assuring me that I’m not the right person for this job, that this is not what you want to do with your year, He made it happen.
When I finally stopped being stubborn to His plans for me, He slingshotted me into a place of unimaginable joy, certainty and content, filling my life with exactly the love and people I needed.
I feel His love and encounter Him greater through music. Through Worship and Praise, it aligns my heart closer to His, especially in the presence and accompaniment of my other YMOs. Praise and worship is a pure form of my heart calling on His, especially when my own words come up short, it gives me the words I need. The other YMOs continually inspire and love me, friends that are compelling me higher. I completely adore them through and through, for all being a different kaleidoscopes of Jesus’s love, showing me various shades and hues of his love.
I am again asked, “what are you going to do next year?” To be completely honest, I don’t know where I am going to be next year. I have learned that the more I try to force a plan for the future, the less focused on God I become.
I know He loves me so passionately that He only gives me exactly what I need, when I need it, for He knows me and knows who I will become. I am beginning to know Him, a heart like fire, strength like a warrior. An inclusive and empowering God of all people. He makes me braver. If we give everything to Him, and trust in His timing, He will bring us to something far greater than we could’ve done on our own.
“Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” Ephesians 4:2
Dear God, I know a number of reasons why I love you yet you love me so unreasonably more.