As promised in my last regular post, “The Serious Business of Enjoying God,” I will be sharing a captivating “motion picture” my Beloved projected onto the movie screen of my mind almost ten years ago and how it’s still affecting me today.
I completely understand if you are sincerely wondering, How do you know it was from God?
Let me tell you how I know.
It wasn’t the first motion picture He gave me. Or the last.
But this particular grace reel contains gems that, I believe, are meant to be shared with believers in Christ who have a God-given longing to savor (give oneself to the enjoyment of) His astonishing, one-of-a-kind love for his or her beautiful new heart.
Before I share it, I would like to tell you what led up to this enlightening, endearing experience.
- Reading about other believers’ impacting encounters with the indwelling Spirit of Christ made me hungry to also experience His love in tangible ways (I believe this hunger originates in His heart’s desire for those who belong to Him to be overcome by His love.)
- My longing to experience His up-close-and-personal love exceeded my desire to feel accomplished through marking off items on my seemingly never-ending to-do list.
- I turned on relaxing Christian instrumental music (See “Simple Devotion to Christ” for a list of my favorites).
- With my open journal resting on the pillow in my lap and a black gel pen in hand, I turned my focus toward a Thomas Kinkade print titled “The Garden of Prayer.” This ethereal scene invited me to step into its contagious serenity. (I could almost feel the warmth of the morning sun’s rays, smell the fragrant bouquet of flowers strewn along the water’s edge, and hear the trickling stream.) Kinkade describes the purpose for which he created this beautiful painting: My prayer is that this painted garden will be a meeting place for many that would speak to their God in the silence of morning.
- In my mind’s eye, I saw myself standing by the open gate, looking down the well-worn path for His coming. Then I started writing what I heard and saw:
How can I have more passion for Jesus? The way I grow in my love for Him is to grow in my understanding of His love for me. It takes the power of His love on my heart to love Him back. The secret to loving is living loved in Christ, my Spiritual Bridegroom!
When Jesus wants to empower me to love Him, He reveals Himself as the One who passionately loves me.
I wait in the Garden of Prayer for the One whom my heart loves.
It’s a beautiful spring morning, not too hot and not too cold.
I hear the birds singing and the stream flowing gently beside the gazebo. I smell the fragrant flowers as a warm breeze makes its way past every bloom.
I feel my heart beating in anticipation of spending sweet moments with my Beloved. I can hardly wait until He gets here! I love spending time with Him!
I look toward the end of the pathway to see if I can catch a glimpse of His coming. Waiting is the hardest part, but so worth it!
I sit on the steps of the gazebo and close my eyes, dreaming of my Beloved. He is Perfect in every way!
I stand up and walk to the open gate, looking down the path once more.
I see movement! I see the form of a Man at the far right end of the pathway walking toward the gate.
As He gets closer, I make out His face. My Beloved! He has come just to see me.
He is smiling the most radiant smile; joy is His countenance.
I cannot wait until He gets to the gate, so I run up the path to meet Him. As I approach, He opens His arms wide.
Like a child, I jump into His loving embrace.
He says, “My love, you are so beautiful! It is the desire of My heart to be with you.”
He holds me for what seems like a long time. I rest my head on His chest and feel His rapid heartbeat.
Then He kisses my forehead and says, “Let’s walk together.”
He takes my hand in His as we walk down the pathway toward the gazebo. As we walk, I sense that we are the only two people in the world.
As His hand holds mine, I feel the scar from one of the wounds He received on my behalf. It is a silent reminder of a love without limits, a love that stretches beyond time.
He squeezes my hand to let me know He is reading my thoughts.
He experiences great joy when I meditate on the truths of His undying love for me. Oh, what ecstasy! What delight! To spend time with the One my heart loves!
The open gate invites us into the garden. We accept by walking through it.
We drink in the lush scenery—the vibrant trees, flowering bushes, and the diamond-like sheen on the surface of an unhurried stream.
“I created all this so that we could enjoy it together, forever, My love. Every beautiful thing you see was created for your enjoyment.”
My heart is overwhelmed to know that I was on His mind at creation.
“But you need to know that not a single place on this earth holds a candle to your beauty.”
He points to the white calla lilies nestled within the greenery outlining the stream and says, “Aren’t they gorgeous? They are pure and white and look like the flame of a candle. They also look like trumpets heralding the beauty of My creation.”
He turns to me and softly whispers, “You asked Me what your new name was when I created you in Me on that crisp Autumn evening.”
“Your new name is ‘Magnificent Beauty,’ the meaning of the calla lily. You will trumpet My name and My love throughout the earth before My coming.”
“Your passion will burn brightly for Me as a candle illuminates the night. Your purity and holiness will stand out in a world where darkness tries to overtake the light.”
“You are My Magnificent Beauty, My love. Come and dance with Me under the gazebo.”
We dance together as one, swaying to the rhythm of His heartbeat. As I rest in His guidance, every twirl and turn is orchestrated by Him. Oh, how I love to dance with my Beloved!
He whispers, “My love, always trust in My leading; never try to lead.”
I nodded as I relax my left ear on His chest. I realize His heartbeat and mine are synchronized. When I’m dancing with Him, I feel the most alive!
We stop dancing. He says, “My love, let’s rest awhile.”
We walk to the steps on the other side of the gazebo, roll up the hem of our garments, sit down, and dangle our bare feet in the cool stream.
Oh, how refreshing and invigorating it is!
“Isn’t it fun to become as little children and play in the water!” He exclaims. I wholeheartedly agree.
When He raises one foot out of the water, I see another reminder of the great price He paid for me.
He winks at me, reading my thoughts once again.
He reaches down, cups water in His hand, and splashes me with it. “I have made you clean,” He says. “Don’t ever forget you are pure, righteous, and holy.”
“Your heart is brand-new in Me.”
This is difficult to believe, especially when my behavior is less than stellar.
Understanding my unspoken struggle, He responds, “My love, your spiritual birth determines your identity, not your behavior. The more you focus on Me and your flawless identity in Me, the more your behavior will line up with who you really are.”
I breathe a long sigh of relief in response to His life-giving words and relax in His perfect love for me.
We lie back on the gazebo, and I fall asleep in His arms.
When I wake up, I see Him looking at me with tender love. He says to me, “You are My pearl, My most treasured possession. I never sleep. My eyes are continually gazing with perfect love on you. Trust Me with every detail of your life.”
I respond, “I do trust You! Cause me to trust and love You more!”
He replies, “My pleasure!”
We get up and walk hand-in-hand to the open gate. He raises my hand to His scarlet lips, kisses it, and says, “Until we meet again.”
He strokes my hair as I hug Him goodbye.
I watch Him walk to the end of the pathway until He’s out of sight.
I miss Him already and can hardly wait until He comes again!
I will never forget this impacting encounter with my Beloved. I look forward to many more as He leads me to fix the eyes of my beautiful, new heart on Him in wonder-filled expectancy.
(I would like to clarify that we are never separated from our Beloved. We are in Him and He is in us eternally, without interruption. The parts of this motion picture that might suggest separation are an illustration of the times when we are not intentionally focusing on our unbreakable union with Him.)
Dear reader, do you have a desire to savor Christ’s refreshing love in up-close-and-personal ways? If so, there’s no time like the present to enjoy His presence!
In my next post, I will share more about how you can position yourself to delight more fully in His eternal embrace.
Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!
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