The conversation started free and easy, but my spirit took a sharp turn as the words between us added up. It was a texting session with my grown daughter and myself. We were chatting about my grand babies when I brought up a recent incident where one of my wee ones was trying to figure out who this “Grandma” was who had visited. Here’s the back story.
I was divorced. It was ugly. It was traumatic. It was devastating. It caused and continues to cause, 20 years later, toxic waste to sprinkle down on our everyday lives. Nuclear family meltdowns change the relationship DNA of your family for generations. But, the subject of divorce and its fall-out is for another blog. God gifted me with a very special man who took broken me and the two little fractured lives I had in tow, and created a family. My innocents became all to wise, all too young, as their father remarried and divorced multiple times. One of those marriages did provide my children with a woman who was loving, generous and who cared well for them. Hence, the Grandma I spoke of earlier. Enough said.
Emotional upheaval or trauma of any kind is an open door. You can choose to slam it in God’s face or you can choose to prop it open with your heavy baggage so the winds of chaos don’t blow it shut, take a seat and wait for God to reveal that very good gift he has for you. Twenty years later, I got one of those gifts today.
We long to know our Lord intimately. We want so badly to feel his presence in our lives. We study to know His heart and His thoughts in hopes of understanding this deity who defies understanding! Thankfully, Yahweh doesn’t mind inserting his thoughts into ours, causing us to do a spiritual 180. Just when we want to run from him, he turns us back around in ways only possible by our loving Abba.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts
Isaiah 55: 8-9
I became jealous beyond the uncomfortable twinge, when I started to dwell on the fact that my grand considered this sweet lady to be “Grandma”. I became indignant. I felt a solar flare of angry jealousy, for lack of better words. That is MY child’s child! I AM the mother…..THE grandmother! Every thought became an adamant claim on my child and his offspring. Memories of the years of dealing with my children spending time with their other mothers, who were often in competition for affections, came flooding back and I was jealous.
Jealous means “apprehensive or vengeful out of fear of being replaced by someone else.” It can also mean “watchful, ” “anxiously suspicious, ” “zealous, ” or “expecting complete devotion.” (Taken from the website Diffen) Websters defines it as “ intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness“.
This morning, I experienced the “intolerant of rivalry AND the expecting complete devotion” jealousy. Gone are the days when I am afraid of being replaced by another woman. Time has proven that won’t happen. However, I so acutely felt intolerance toward rivalry. The beautiful thing is, as quickly as the human emotions rose like bile in my throat, I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that this is how God, my Abba, feels about me!! He feels that way about you!! Allow yourself to go, just for a moment, to a place where you are in a fight for the devotion, adoration and unfettered love from your man, your children, your parents….. maybe its a friend you are jealous for. That righteous and possessive jealousy you feel is the tip of the iceberg compared to the depth of God’s desire for your all. We don’t even have the capacity to love as our Father loves. With His love comes a righteous expectation of us to make him the object of our passion.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Our God is a jealous God. Let’s take a look at a scripture that speaks to his desire for your total and complete worship. Did you know worship is synonymous with devotion. I’m talking worship in every way….your walk, your talk, your time, your lifestyle, your priorities, your relationships, your money….the list goes on. God asks that you be single-minded in your devotion to him. He wants your faithfulness. What are you having an affair with? Busyness? Work? Pride? Self?
Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
I am no theologian but when I did a word study on “jealous” from this passage, I found the great I AM expects us to be zealous and know that his jealous streak runs fiery hot. He expects we pursue him with intense fervor. He demands we exalt and glorify him above all that we find value in here on Earth.
God let me experience a taste of his jealousy this morning through my fleshly desire to be THE Grandma, and then he gave me a full helping of “understanding topped with realization”. After that, I had to measure my unadulterated commitment to Him on his yardstick. I didn’t measure up.
Do you know how jealous God is for you? For your passion, your devotion, your fidelity? Just dwell in His affection and desire for an exclusive relationship with you for a little while, then go out and worship him with the zeal he designed you to have!
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.