Does Loving God Feel Hard Today?

I bought myself flowers from Trader Joes last week. White hydrangeas, little yellow daisies, and long, green, leafy filler. I arranged the bouquets into a mason jar and instead of placing it by the kitchen sink or on the entry way table, I set them beside my bed. I’ve never done this before.

Flowers aren’t cheap and die quickly. All three bundles cost me $12. Flowers should be enjoyed by the most people possible. They should grace the dining room table or greet guests as they walk in the door. I don’t deserve to horde their beauty all to myself. But this time I took them to my room. I even arranged the books nicely on my little table and put the random legos back where they belonged.

Every morning and evening, these flowers smiled at me. Their petals bent back and forth almost as though they were waving good morning and good night to me. The daisies delicately peeked at me with bashful glee. Beauty mirrors beauty. It’s true. It is almost as though beauty chases beauty in a jovial game of tag. When I see the glory of God manifest in nature, creation, people, art, or sound, I see God. When God sees me, He sees Christ covering me, and beauty abounds.

I felt slightly selfish buying myself flowers and arranging them just for me. But on this side of things, I don’t think it was. As much as I was chasing beauty, I think God was chasing after me. He was giving me something beautiful to enjoy. He was loving me.

We chase after a lot of things in life: influence, youth, security, peace, and control. I chase the need to be right, noticed, and admired. I want God, but I want all these other things too. I can really complicate things. I can make my relationship with God about all the things I am doing. I serve, work, sacrifice. I meet with Him, give and pray to Him. I can start to feel really good about myself when I look at all the things I’m doing for God. I so easily chase after God’s approval and praise. I make my relationship with God harder than it needs to be. I treat God like a distant relative whose attention I’m trying to get.

I forget these key words — love relationship. I get to have a love relationship with God. It’s not a give-and-take relationship. It is based on love. He wants to pour out grace and peace and freedom. When I have experiences with God like I did with the flowers, I receive a gift. I open my heart and let God’s love pours in. I am a child of God. I am His daughter. Imagine the most tender relationship between a father and daughter. Now, imagine this is how God desires to relate to you.

What if we were love chasers and receivers? What if we chased love and beauty like we chased kids at school recess — just for the fun of it? What if love-chasing circles endlessly around like a merry-go-round? What if we received love like a kid on Christmas morning? Joy is contagious. God loves play. We see it in the way the waves tackle each other on the shore, the way birds tease each and the stars shoot like fire crackers across the night sky. God loves to play with us. He loves when we participate in the play of beauty, and He loves to love us.

Delight, dear sisters. So often we make our relationship with God a task, duty, or check list. Delight in His love today. Open your eyes and be captivated by His beauty set out on display for you. And go buy some flowers — just for you.

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