“…’cause you’re still my girl in the bad days.” -David Ramirez
Very rarely, God gives me a dream. When he does, I wake up knowing it is from him and I can scarcely go the rest of the day without thinking about it, which is exactly what happened today. I woke up at 6:30 sharp with the cats playing outside the door and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
In the dream there was a lot of sunlight. In the dream I was insecure. In the dream, I was married. I could never quite place his face, though I saw him often from the back.
I was married to a good man. Somehow I knew that he had integrity and intensity— he loved God more than anything in the world, and he loved the nations. I did not feel worthy to be married to him. I was tired and insecure and I remember thinking, “I need to love the nations more.” Because he loved them so much.
There was a moment when I looked out onto the porch and saw sunlight glare bright off white stone, saw him there looking out, talking with someone.
And I thought, “what if he leaves me for another woman?” For I am small and anxious and insecure and I possess no power to entice him to stay.
And I realized- He’s not going to do that. Because he is a good man.
Because he is a good man, it isn’t my merit that keeps him tied to me, it’s his own goodness. It’s the fact that when he’s made a promise, he won’t break it. I knew, in that moment, that he would be there, and love me, because he is a good man, not because I am a good woman. I woke up knowing it was a parable.
For “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
And this was not a license to do whatever I wanted, “oh, he will love me anyway.” Such love as this drives away callousness and prohibits us from trampling on grace. It was a humble, humble realization that this man Jesus stays with me anyway, despite all my failures and shortcomings. Despite my love for the nations that is quiet and must be fanned into flames again and again. Despite my love for sleep over early-morning time with the Almighty. Despite my selfish heart, the man Jesus stays.
And it makes me want to be better, want to be holy. And to be holy, truly, deeply holy, starts with being loved by a good man- a good God. And he fills us with the Spirit and we follow him for the joy of it all. And many times it’s hard and obedience is no walk in the park, but we. are. loved. And the renouncing of it all and taking up the cross is made sweet by this fact. The good man, the good God, he loves us, and the man Immanuel promised us this, that he would never leave us nor forsake us, even till the end of the age.
And I have prayed for this. I have prayed that God would show me he is a good man. And he is faithful and he never leaves. When I woke up, I didn’t think “wow I am so awesome that God has noticed me and now he’s not going to leave me”- oh no, far from it. I haven’t done anything to deserve the notice of God, much less his persistent love. I marveled that this man is good enough to stay. He has such a faithless bride in me, lukewarm, and yet, he stays. Oh, he stays.
–Constant One by Steffany Gretzinger