Marinating Hearts

This post started with a worship time. The team played Fully in Love by Jon Thurlow. I heard the chorus and my spirit went “WOAH.”

“It’s what you wanted in the garden,

It’s what you wanted on the mountain,

It’s what you wanted on the cross beam,

Just a heart that is fully in love.”

I suddenly had this picture of unrequited love. In life, when we love someone who doesn’t love back, the logical thing to do is get over them. Think about the pathetic figure Iris is in The Holiday with her weeping over a dude who cares nothing for her. The whole movie, i was dying for her to get over him. Often, unrequited love seems like wasted love. Useless pain.

But God.  God didn’t follow that logical rule. All through-out history, He has been passionately in love with us and just waiting for us to love back. The ultimate picture of unrequited love.

“It’s what you wanted in the garden,

It’s what you wanted on the mountain,

It’s what you wanted on the cross beam,

Just a heart that is fully in love.”

A reason humans follow the logical rule of trying to get over people who don’t love back is because it is much too painful to feel futile love. But God was willing to marinate in that ache. Sure, people will spend a long time loving someone who doesn’t love back, but our typical response to the pain of  unreturned love is to eventually shut down our emotions so it doesn’t hurt, to kill the love. But God marinated in the ache. He didn’t bury His heart or smother it. He held it and FELT. Felt it deep. God was the epitome of Being Alive: 

He understands that love is choosing to hold your heart out in your palm – which means that people can stab it, but it also means that you can really Live. He’s the perfect picture of Love. Love like this: GGKoEX4

So – thanks to Holy Spirit and Jon Thurlow i was wrecked by this picture.  God. Feeling. God. Marinating in the ache. But WHY? Why did God do it? Why didn’t He distance himself from the pain? Why didn’t He guard His heart from us? Why didn’t He get over His unrequited love for us?

These are my thoughts on that subject. I’m a not making theological claims. I’m not saying this is the literal, absolute truth of what happened and what these verses mean. This is just the stuff i’ve been selah-ing over recently that has made me even more IN LOVE with God.

So here’s God, soaking in a deep love for us, and here’s us, completely ambivalent to Him. Broken, messy us. We don’t even know what love is.

“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

“A new heart I will give you and a new spirit will I put within you,

and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ez. 36:26

“And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them;

and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh,

and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God].” -Ez. 11:19

It’s pretty clear that God give us our heart and teaches  us how to love. Now, think about the CRAZY LOVE it would be if that heart of flesh He gave us was His. He gave us new hearts. He actually transplanted His heart into our chest. That juicy, love-filled heart stuck into us, His heart into ours. So we can feel all those feels. All that deep love. He gave us a heart already full to the brim with Love, Love, Love.

On top of all that, He already felt that the pain in that heart. That heart has been drained of heartache, because He’d already felt it all up. The cross wasn’t the first time He hurt Bad. He’d been feeling hurts for a while. He’d been living fully alive, fully feeling for eternity. He gave us His heart so we could be fully ALIVE too.

Not only did he take all the consequences for our sin – all that physical pain – on the Cross, He’d also felt all the emotional pain of separation from us – since the Fall – so He could give us a heart that really knows how to love and feel, but will never need to feel that pain of separation. That heart spend Gen. 3 through the Easter account feeling an aching separation – top it all off with “My God, my God, why have you abandoned Me [leaving Me helpless, forsaking and failing Me in My need]?!”  All the alone-ness that heart could feel had been used up by the time Jesus transplanted it into us.

“We love because He first loved us.” He taught us how to love. No. Not taught us. That implies we had to work to get it. We didn’t work. He just transplanted a heart that knows how to love into us. (Note: The only way to get a heart transplant is for someone healthy enough to die, so you can take theirs.) That’s one of the things Jesus was doing on the Cross. Dying so the Great Physician could take His heart and put it in us.

“I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you;

I will take the heart of stone our of your flesh

and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ez. 36:26


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