It turns out 5am held some little treasures for me. In the beginning I discovered a new kind of quiet that I wrote about in a previous post. But as I reach the end of my 30 day experiment I have come away with something special from the Lord.
I have been reading Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper, to my kids. It has been powerful. We are having conversations about the Lord and the reason He put us on this earth that bless my heart to no end. They are starting to truly grasp that what Jesus did on the cross was the ultimate act of love.
How can we not respond to this kind of love?
Ephesians 3:17 says, “…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love…”
Rooted and grounded in love.
Do you know what kind of love that is? Agape.
I have always been taught that this kind of love means an unconditional love. This is true, but when I went digging a little more into the meaning of that word some things stood out to me that I absolutely love!
The Greek definition of agape includes a description of “a love feast.” Can’t you just feel that? When God’s love shines through us it is as if we are at a love feast! Completely satisfied, lacking nothing. We have our fill of being loved and giving love simultaneously. The perfect kind of love that can only be obtained through the love that Jesus showed us on the cross.
It is a benevolent love. Well-wishing. The idea that the one doing the loving does not need any motivation to love. They simply love, unconditionally.
The Lexical Aids to the New Testament says this:
“Its benevolence, however, is not shown by doing what the person loved desires,
but what the one who loves deems as needed by the one loved.”
How many times do I think I know how I need to be loved? But then God pours his love into my soul in only a way that He can do, and my desires pale in comparison. He knows what I need. He loves in such a perfect way.
So as I sat in the glow of my perfect little desk lamp, with my hands wrapped around my warm mug of tea each morning at 5am, I found Jesus loving me in ways only He can do. My life was quiet enough to listen. I was still enough to notice. He wants my agape love, he wants me to feast on Him, to enjoy him.
One of the things I have been working through on these still, dark mornings is Experiencing God, by Henry & Richard Blackaby. Right there, on page 54, something soaked into my soul in a way that it never has before…
“A love relationship with God is more important than any other single factor in your life.”
I have worked at making time for my relationship with God for as long as I can remember, but have I ever loved Him the way He should be loved? The way He wants to be loved? Yes, I know there have been moments throughout my life where His love has blown me away, left me speechless and utterly grateful, but have I made loving Him the most important single factor in my life? I know what I want to do, but do I do it all the time? I often stumble through this humanity of mine, but I have come away from 5am knowing that all I want is to be so in love with Jesus that it is the most important single factor in my life.
Will I continue to get up at 5am? Truthfully, probably not as constantly as I did this month, but definitely more than I have ever considered before. Why? Because Jesus is there. Waiting. And I want to keep falling in love, as if it is the single most important thing in my life.