Leaves were swaying softly outside the window. The empty space of the room beckoned a melody as I scrolled through the songs awaiting play. I didn’t know which one to choose this time.
What song do you want to play? I asked God.
Scrolling through the ones I usually have on repeat.
Extravagant, He said.
I said okay and found the one by Bethel and Steffany Gretzinger. It’s a song of extravagant love and affection, and I know it well.
As it began, I thought it strange He would want this song given the circumstances of the global climate. But then I knew why…
It doesn’t makes sense
I’ll never comprehend
The way You love us…
Only Heaven knows
Just how far You’d go
To say You love us…”
When I heard that, I knew immediately why He wanted this song.
Many are feeling anything but loved by God right now because of the coronavirus and need to know God really does love them… this isn’t His condemnation or wrath… sickness grieves His heart.
Love goes to great lengths for the one it loves.
I encourage you to listen to this song in entirety when you can because the whole thing speaks to God’s heart of love for us in this coronavirus.
And lately I feel the Lord so strongly as this mighty beloved warrior coming to fight for us, ridding out the things that have attacked us… where we’ve been left helpless… plagued by infections we don’t know have contaminated us and the world we live in. God takes care of us because that’s His number one job… He likes to take care of the ones He sculpted and breathed life into. He takes pride in us. And He is a beautiful protector.
God doesn’t attack people.
God is full of love and compassion for us…
He is attacking the things that attack us… darkness, sin, harm, bondage, etc.
God is a Father fierce with fury towards the contagions that assault His babies. ❤
“His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” Revelation 19:12-13
And we are all His babies.
The children whom He created… no matter who you are or where you are… God loves you and is crazy in love with you… He made you because He delights in you.
This weekend I was reading in Song of Solomon and God spoke about this same beautiful complexity of love and fury.
In Song of Solomon 2:1 it says, “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley.”
I love the imagery in Song of Solomon. It’s a love song between two lovers and its also reveals the Lord’s affections for us. But as I read this verse I was struck by this usage of “lily of the valley.” Because a lily of the valley is not an ordinary flower.
A lily of the valleys is not a one-dimensional symbol of loveliness.
It’s a beautiful and delicate flower but it has a mystery about it. It’s poisonous if ingested.
As I read this I asked God, of all the flowers you could write here in Song of Solomon why lily of the valleys?
Why use a poisonous flower as a metaphor of beauty and love? He said… It kills off the bad things.
I see this unfurling with the coronavirus…
When we recognize we are not the target of the virus, the contagions are… then we see God is not trying to hurt us at all.
As I thought about the coronavirus pandemic, I see this unfurling with how it’s bringing good even in the midst of a harmful physical virus. It’s ridding out impurities in our values, in society, in how we treat others, cleansing what infects us, reawakening the goodness within our humanity as we allow Jesus to touch our hearts.
I already see how the community is shining forth with compassion, supporting one another, being kind, others-focused, intentional, empowering, and loving.
God is allowing an attack on the ailments that plague the world, so that we can be cured.
Sometimes it takes a virus to cure a virus.
The only way to be cured from chicken pox is to get chicken pox, and then you’ll never have it again. Vaccines are essentially the virus/bacteria themselves that acts as the antidote to cure.
Through the coronavirus, God is fighting for us against the unseen enemies we wrestle with.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
How could a loving extravagant Father send a deadly plague upon His people for any other reason? It wasn’t meant to be directed at us… God is fighting a spiritual war right now against what plagues us.
This was prophesied about in the Bible where as we get closer to the end times where Jesus comes back to eradicate the devil and save us, more and more world calamities happen. Because God is unleashing more of His fury onto the devils and darkness that we cannot see.
We are the ones He loves.
And as the ones He loves being placed in an environment where darkness permeates, God will show up to fight that darkness and I see Him doing that.
This begs the question, why God did you place us in an environment of darkness? The choice to choose Him, purifying us so we could enter heaven, thoughts I cant know altogether still leave room for that question unanswered but one day we will know. But either way, I’m glad to be here because it’s the only way I get to be with Jesus one day.
Sunday morning I had a dream… I saw a body that looked different than human and it had its hands raised but the head was gone. The head was off and resting down where its chest was and it was heaving, couldn’t breathe. I woke up… and I knew what it was… the Bible says” even the demons tremble before Jesus…” and this body had its hands raised to Jesus because it knows who Jesus is… it was heaving unable to breathe… God is killing these devils through the coronavirus… which causes death through difficulty of breathing. This virus is meant to kill them, not us. We are the ones whom He will protect.
I’ve been thinking why this virus has shut down so much of society when its not near as deadly as it could be… and that again supports that this virus was not meant to kill physical people, it was meant to kill the contagions that plague people.
God is healing hearts from bondage right now.
God is liberating souls right now.
God is cleansing broken systems and values right now.
God is reawakening spiritual rebirth right now.
God is restoring broken relationships right now.
God is tethering people together right now.
Sadly, there are physical people who are also losing their lives through this and I don’t think that is God’s heart.
I see it is a byproduct of what happens in war.
There are casualties.
And God loves these people who are dying for the sake of our world being fought for by God. They will not go un-honored. They are loved by God.
We all share in this despair in some kind of way. Every one of us is impacted by it depending on our particular situations. People are disoriented, afraid, isolated, lonely. Workplaces are impacted. And I think we all wish we could escape the madness.
But this is how the lily of the valleys work… in beauty and love they kill the bad things. So that the garden can grow without infection.
You are also a lily of the valleys.🌸
God’s treasure wrapped in love
When you are a lily of the valley, you purify what’s around you because of the light in you. Goodness heals. Goodness loves. Goodness causes darkness to turn to light. We carry this because of the Holy Spirit within us.
You don’t have to do anything to be a lily of the valleys. You don’t purify by trying to purify. This is not about looking at what’s wrong and trying to change it… it’s about simply radiating the light God put in you.
Let God’s goodness shine in you.
Let’s fight for one another and protect one another.
Right now we can all care for another because we are all taking bullets from the war around us.
And like a bullet being extracted from the flesh on the battlefield, there is no anesthesia and there is no relief. It must be done immediately on the spot or else it leads to infection. We flourish even more as we let God “extract the bullets” from our humanity… the things that plague us… the things that infect us… the lies we’ve been told… the things that hinder us… the bondages that torment us…
We have an enemy who shot us with His diseases… infecting us… and when God extracts these bullets we are spared from further infection.
I hear the Father’s heart for His people saying you didn’t bring it on yourself, My loves. I understand what the curse of this world has done to you. And I had a plan all along the save you.
I’m encouraged Jesus know what it’s like to feel the pains of someone elses’ diseases put on Him… the Bible says in Isaiah that “Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains” in Isaiah 53:4.
That is love…
…the kind of love He has for you precious one.
When we truly love someone… we are willing to bear the pains that come with that love.
God will always be the One to step forward and experience the pains instead… He has experienced the deepest pains… He understands what we feel… He cares… He knows… When we know that, we realize He is not the perpetrator of pain. He is the deliverer.
God really is the One who loves us… and there is no contempt or anger in His love. There is no corruption in God’s love.
It’s pure. Gentle. Kind. Patient… Always willing.
you saw the pain
i couldnt see
numbness setting in
like barbed wire buried deep
you knew i’d shriek
from the release
blood would flow
then i could feel
because you cut me open
to mend me
Even when it hurts, we know His affections for us are so deep.
Pure love does what is necessary to free the other. Pure love sees where the pain is and does what needs to be done to heal it.
So we can be completely free and blessed again. But it comes through temporary discomfort.
And pure love is willing to bear that discomfort.
Because it loves so much…
And grieves so much to see us hurting… that He does something about it.
And thus show the one it loves just how deep and real love really is. And we see… finally… He was our lover all along. He intended our good all along.
The song Extravagant love begins this way… “You were a lover before time’s beginning…”
God wants us to remember…
He has always been a lover.
Thus, Jesus Christ is the ultimate lily of the valley.
Buried in the earth and bursting forth to captivating life, overcoming death to purge the darkness.
Poisoning the contagions that plague the ones He loves…. through zealous light and goodness. So that the bad things are gone, and beauty remains.
It’s gentle love…
It’s patient love…
It’s furious love that won’t let anything harm us…
It’s affectionate love that can’t help Himself from fighting for us…
And I’m believing there is more we will see unfold as time passes with how God shows His zealous love to us in the midst of this coronavirus. Because that is who He is. ❤
For one day we will live forever with Him in the place New Heaven and Earth He is preparing for us… and it will be gorgeous and full of bliss… far from every sorrow… full of every joy.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Questions for Today:
- What is a lily of the valleys?
- Why did God choose this flower to represent beauty and love in Song of Solomon?
- What is God doing in my life right now to heal and care for me in the midst of the coronavirus?
- How does God fight for me as His beloved?
- What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him?