What a stormy, troublesome day here in Hampshire! The study got soaked, the wind is howling outside as I write (it is 10:pm) and apparently there is more bad weather yet to come our way - so hunker down, it's going to be a rough night! Continuing to improve today and even got to eat some spicy food tonight - doctors had said I should stay away from it until I felt better as it could affect my throat. So enjoyed a mild Indian curry tonight.
Anyway - whilst sitting in my study working, today I was glancing round all my books - commentaries, bibles, reference books, testimonies, biographies and all the rest. I have around 4000 of them on shelves, in boxes and stored away - and something hit me.
Every book I have read about Jesus helps me - but it doesn't fully satisfy the yearning deep down inside of me to know Him more. None of them deals completely and adequately with the longing to be more like Him, to catch the 'scent' of His presence a little more fully. None deal with the paradoxes and the contrasts and the nuances and the beauty in Him well enough. No book ever could. He's human and divine and yet the mystery continues to deepen, the waters still not clear - the wonder still not plumbed. He is tender and gentle, yet violently uncompromising. He can make a child feel safe on His knee, but His enemies shake before Him. He is the benchmark by which all people are judged, yet He is meek and servant-hearted. He said the strongest things about sin I have ever heard - yet He spoke to sinners with a gentleness and tenderness that dispels fear. He says that I have to give Him everything - but He gave me everything first. He is the most approachable attractive and winsome Person ever to have walked the earth - yet for all my knowing I only know Him a little. His authority is unquestionable - yet He rejects power completely and never used it to control. His friends loved Him and He was on party guest lists, yet He is a man of incredible sorrow and pain. He raises friends from the dead - then He dies Himself. He has more power than anyone else - yet He won't force open the door of my heart - instead waiting to be asked. He could demand my love, yet He asks me to give it to Him freely. He'll let me reject Him rather than squash my humanity, yet He gives up everything for me simply to have the choice. He died two thousand years ago - yet lives in the here and now and has the full and utter allegiance of heart. I have spent twenty years with Him as my best friend - and today I realised again that I have so much more to learn about Him - and so many more opportunities to grow and fall deeper in love with this Carpenter. He has more facets than the greatest diamond, more depth that the deepest ocean, more intensity than a thousand suns - and yet He held me in His arms today and reminded me that He loves me - and always will.
So my prayer for each of us today is that we will pursue the One who pursues us - and that we will never be satisfied until a bright and glorious morning when we hear a trumpet, see the clouds part, and the hairs on the back of our necks stand on end, as we catch a glimpse of those we love, then find our attention drawn to One who makes life worth living and we finally are able to say, 'I know You'.