Monday, February 6, 2012

The Relentless Lover

My heart is full as I think of all the Lord has done in just one month. On January 1, I answered God's call to begin a blog written by ministry wives for ministry wives. I obeyed. And He has blessed.

The most exciting aspect of this blog for me is witnessing the diversity amongst us. Each writer comes from a different area of the country. We represent various races. Our churches differ greatly from one another. Our husbands serve in different types of ministries. Some are pastors, while others are leaders in para-church ministries.

Yet one common denominator amongst us all: we have all experienced God's abundant grace, mercy and love as we walk this road of ministry with our husbands.

So I thought it only appropriate to focus on God's beautiful love during the month of February, the month of Valentine's Day. So join us each week this month as we share the many ways we've experienced the love of God -- as women, as ministry wives, as His precious daughters.



"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1
When I think of the love of God, this is where it all begins for me. It begins with a love so strong that the very Creator of the Universe became a human being, lived a perfect life, suffered rejection and ridicule, subjected Himself to beatings and insults, then died a shameful death on a cross. It begins with Him taking my sin to the cross with Him, the one Who knew no sin. 

It begins with this amazing love that He has lavished on me. This amazing love that He has lavished on you.

For months now I've been studying the minor prophets. I could never express my love for these prophets. The book of Hosea has whispered God's love to my heart, a heart that's oh so prone to wander. A heart that identifies with Hosea's harlot wife Gomer, a heart that turns away from God to pursue this world's idols: success, fame, the applause of men, making a name for myself, worldly comfort, etc. etc.

Who is this sinful woman that turns her back on the kind, compassionate Lover of the bible? 

It is I.

And yet He continues to pursue me. He calls with the voice of the forsaken husband. I hear His voice so clearly.

"Return to me." 

22 Times. He speaks these words 22 times in the book of Hosea alone. He remains steadfast, persistent, relentless. 

I hear His voice, and I come. I leave the worthless lovers that bring no satisfaction, no joy. I bask in His love anew. I see it. I feel it. I live it.

And I'm a new woman all over again. I love Him wholly. I love the life He's given. I love the man He's joined to me. I love the little ones He's entrusted to me. 

And I love this crazy life of ministry. With all its ups and downs, its detours, its reboots. With all the expectations and disappointments and uncertainty. With all the demands, the meetings, the phone calls. With all the pouring out. Wondering when someone will pour back in.

And then I remember.

I remember the Lover's words to another harlot in history. This one a Samaritan woman hanging out alone at a well. A woman with a past so sordid, other women wouldn't even draw water next to her. I recall His loving response to her searching soul.

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14




I remember that it begins with Living Water. Living Water that refreshes and satisfies the thirst of my soul. Living Water that empowers me to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when my path cuts through the desert. Living Water that replenishes all that I have poured out for others.

Living water that grants me new life in Him and for Him. 

Come, my Sister, and drink. There's room at the well for you.

Carla Hendricks
 
* Visit The Master's Gardeners to read more about Carla

10 comments:

  1. I am so glad you answered that call too! It's been wonderful to be a part of this and I LOVE the theme of this month and the BEAUTIFUL way you lead us to His love this month. And, I have been working through the minor prophets as well...that's amazing...such letters from a lover to his wandering bride...the heart ache the truth of reminding of ALL He is and the relentless pursuit...so, so good, thank you:}

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  2. Abby, so exciting that you're studying the minor prophets too! God is moving similarly in the hearts of His Girls, isn't He? Thanks for your precious comments. And thanks for your contribution to the Garden too. I look forward to the next time!

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  3. Thanks for the link, Carla. I enjoyed the post.

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  4. You're welcome Pat! Thanks for stopping by the Garden, and letting me know you did. I hope you were refreshed!

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  5. Oh, Carla! I so appreciate your obedience to God's call to the Garden. This week's blog is precious- it reminds us of God's passionate pursuit of His people. Thank you.

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  6. What a great post! I'm a pastors wife myself and enjoy "meeting" others through these type of uplifting blogs.

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  7. Leah, thanks for your encouraging words! And thanks for being a part of the Garden.

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  8. Amy, thanks for joining us here at A Pastor's Wife's Garden. As a fellow pastor's wife, I hope you find a place of refreshing here in the Garden. Blessings to you.

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  9. What a beautiful post. I'm not a pastor's wife, but I find myself so encouraged whenever I visit!

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  10. Audry CeCe, I'm so glad you've been visiting and commenting! You don't have to be a pastor's wife to join us in the "Garden". You have encouraged me by sharing your encouragement. Blessings to you, Sister!

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