The Height of First Love

4 minutes

Falling in love is such a beautiful thing, a glorious space to be in. In this season of my life, I feel my Lord tag at me to pull in closer, lean in, to depend on Him even more, to trust in Him and wait on Him, to lean on Him instead of on my own limited understanding. And as I answer this call, I understand better where these loving feelings are coming from. My Father is the source of the love I feel in my heart. I never want this feeling to end, being in love with my Lord and having that love overflow to those He has placed in my circle. 

Often, we are guilty of leaving our Lord behind when earthly love and other interests springs forth, something I’ve been guilty of in the past. In my study of the book of Jeremiah, God laments this very behavior in His chosen people. In the second chapter, He reminds them of how He saved them in their time of need, and how quickly they have turned away from Him to follow other lovers now that their basic needs have been met. He calls this adultery and charges them of whoring themselves ‘on every high hill and under every green tree’, thus becoming as worthless as the worthless things they’d chosen to follow. May it never be that we too are judged worthless because of making choices that exclude God. 

Nowhere in the Bible does it paint a more vivid picture of a loving, jealous, persistent, and forgiving God than it does in the book of Jeremiah. We see God holding out His hand for His Chosen Ones to return, and they spurn His outstretched arm again and again. After years of them chasing after other lovers, He says of wayward Israel “And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return” (3:7). In 2:32, He laments that His people have neither acknowledged Him nor spoken to Him, ”My people have forgotten Me days without number…” which is just about the saddest verse in the whole Bible if you ask me, I wept myself silly the day I stumbled upon it during my wee-morning prayer session. 

Loving God is such a privilege my friends, such a privilege; we really mustn’t take it for granted. A God that loves us when we are downtrodden should not be ignored when we are on the up and up, for it is on His wings of love that we rise at all. He is the one that wipes away our tears and puts a new song in our hearts, pouring His healing balm over our wounded hearts to mend all the broken pieces (Jer 46:11), pouring His oil of joy over us and setting our hearts a-dancing (Psalm 30:11). It is He that gives us a crown of beauty in exchange for our ashes from our burnt and broken dreams, gives us the oil of gladness to replace our mourning, clothes us in garments of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Is 61:1), Our God is indeed a shield about us, our glory and the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). 

In Revelation 2:4 He charges: “But I have this against you, you have abandoned your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Turn back! Recover your dear early love, no time to waste…” God is always holding out His hand for us to turn to Him, to come back to Him. He never tires reaching out to us and calling us (back) to Him. As my falling-in-love journey continues, I feel the Lord tag at my heartstrings. I feel Him urgently tag at my heart to keep Him as my First Love. I sense His invitation for me to tarry with Him, to wait on Him, to hang in there and wait for His plan to unfold… It calls to mind the Children of Israel once more in Psalm 106 where the Lord contends that “they forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt…they did not believe his promise…they soon forgot what He had done and did not wait for His plan to unfold…” That’s us, always wandering away once our hearts are quelled just enough for us to get on with it. Isaiah 53:6 puts it this way: “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” Such is the condition of humanity, unable to wait on God patiently for any meaningful length of time…  

I feel the nagging sweet surrender tag at my heart. ‘My will not yours’, I hear my mind respond as I melt in His presence; ‘Your love, not another’s’, I find my heart responding. My Christ is my whole world and I will give up any and every earthly pleasure to come away with Him, to tarry with Him as He desires, for I, too, desire him, my most beautiful… He has placed eternity in the hearts of men (Eccl 3:11) and my heart beats loudest for Him and Him alone. He is my solid rock and my place of refuge. He satisfies the longing soul (Psalm 107:9), and how my soul yearns for Him (Psalm 63:1) for your love is better than life, and so my lips will glorify you precious Lord… Help me not to move until You say to move, to choose to wait on You so You can give my life meaning. Not my will but yours my beloved… I will tarry with you as long as you so ordain, for waiting on you is my pleasure and my great privilege.