My beloved wife, Ashley: She is the most beautiful woman in the entire world and everything I could ever have dreamed of in a wife. Her love for the Lord and her tender heart for others are the most attractive things to me (along with her beautiful eyes, captivating smile, and intoxicating laugh). She is my best friend and I can't imagine my life without her in it.
My church family, Zion Christian Assembly: or Sion Assemblea Christiana :) We are truly blessed to be in a church that loves the Lord and desires His best with all their hearts.
My job: This one is hard to be thankful for sometimes. Nothing works patience, longsuffering, meekness, temperance, faith, love, peace, and even joy (on occasion) in me more than my job. I learn more things about myself in those 8 hours each day than I ever thought was possible.
My God: This one will take a while..."I am my beloved's and His desire is towards me." This verse, taken from Song of Solomon 7:10 is the end result of a very long journey for the Shulamite woman. I've studied this book many times in the past and understand it allegorical implications. However, even after all of my years of academic studies, I never really "got it" until recently. Yes, I know that God loves me, but feeling and experiencing His love for me on a daily basis is something that I could never really wrap my head around. "His desire is towards me" yeah...I know. But what does that really mean? The Hebrew word used here is: teshûqâh pronounced tesh-oo-kaw'. It means, "stretching out after; a longing desire." God has a longing desire for me! Wow! I thought it was supposed to be the other way around! Yes, of course, I love the Lord and I desire to know Him and be with Him...but He has an intense longing desire to be with me! That is pretty awesome! I'm not sure that a lot of Christians really ever "get" this. They know they love the Lord and they walk in obedience to Him, but somehow something is still missing in their lives. Part of what is missing is that they don't quite understand what it means to know that God loves them and His desire is towards them. Consider this: Mankind was originally created for fellowship with Him. Genesis 3:8 paints this picture for us. We read of God coming and walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve. There is a sense that this has been part of a regular routine. God walked and talked with Adam and Eve on a regular basis and in Genesis 3:8...He was looking for them! There is a part of God that longs to be with His people and fellowship with them. Recently...this just finally "clicked" like a light bulb! God's desire is towards me! Everything that I go through, every trial, every blessing, every sick day, every healthy day...my entire life is orchestrated by a God that loves me and desires to fellowship with me. All I have to do is respond to Him and He will lead the way. What an awesome God!
Anyway, on a sick day that started out with me feeling pretty lousy, I now feel refreshed and have a renewed understanding of how truly blessed I am! God is so good!
So...if you're reading this...do you know that God loves you? Do you know that His desire is towards you and He longs to be with you?