What does it look like to be pursued by God?
Whenever I hear the word pursuit, I flip back to all of the love stories that I have heard about or watched over the years. It’s the final scene of a movie. The lead actress is getting on a plane, leaving the man she loves behind. The man, realizing his mistake of letting her go, jumps in a cab, hurriedly driving through traffic to get to the airport. He reaches the airport, dodges through security, runs down the terminal to her gate, all to find out that he was only seconds late. He explains the situation to the flight attendant at the entrance. She tells him the plane is about to leave and asks, “Why do you need to get on?” And he says, as the camera zooms in on his face, “Because the woman I love is on that plane, and I can’t let her go.” The flight attendant then gives him a knowing smile and lets him through. The music swells as he races down the onramp to be reunited with the woman of his dreams.
This is the kind of sappy but heartfelt romance a lot of women have grown up with. We see pursuit after pursuit as our hearts beat with a rhythmic longing.
What does it look like to be pursued by God? This is a question that I have wrestled with for many years. I remember the first time someone told me that the Bible was God’s love story to us. I at first brushed it off, but then thought about it. The Bible says that God couldn’t be separated from us, He became like us, relating to us, feeling with us, crying with us, and going as far as dying a mortal death like us. Now if that’s not pursuit, I don’t know what is! And the great thing about this is that it’s not a past pursuit, He’s pursuing us today and tomorrow and forever.
Oswald Chambers says, “Get into the habit of saying, ‘Speak, Lord,’ and life will become a romance.” I took Chambers advice and asked the Lord to speak. And let me tell you something, the Lord is very, very chatty!
All of the sudden His love is everywhere. I can feel His love through the rush of a breeze that twirls my hair and brings goosebumps to my arms. His love is displayed through the great expanse of ocean, the singing vibration of hummingbird wings, the kindness of a friend’s word, the cascading of a waterfall down a mountain, the pastel sky as the sun departs, the feeling of hot coffee roll down my throat. Everything is kissed with God’s love. I can’t describe it, but it compels and draws me closer to Him. Instead of just seeing Him during allocated devotional times, I see Him as I walk down the street, on my way to class, or as I’m driving on the freeway.
With this in mind, we also have to be careful about our perception of God. He isn’t just a sappy, love-stricken romantic who is there at your beck and calling. No, that would be like saying the the ocean is akin to a puddle. Tim Keller says, “Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws.” We have a lot of sentimental love in our world that floods our ears, but it floods without truth. The love of God is so beautiful because it is paired with truth, with conviction. Earthly love is a glimpse, a slight reflection of the truth that we hold in our hearts, but not the end goal.
As someone who is pursued by Jesus, when I watch the rom-com with the man running down the terminal to reach the woman he loves, I am compelled and my heart stirs with a deep knowledge in my gut that says, “Wow. This is what Jesus did for me and is doing everyday.”
I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch rom-com’s or that romance is evil, (trust me, I’m a sucker for a good chick-flick!). I’m saying that God is pursuing and chasing after you, and to mistake the love of this world as the end goal, is to miss out on the beautiful and satiable love that God is offering to us everyday.
words and photo by Abigail White