I recently discovered a unique journal packed away in a box during our move to Austin. I had created it during a season I can only describe as a very dark night. On a sketch pad I had written words, then colored them in, creating a poster each night I spent with the Lord. One page had the word WATCH, which stood for wanted, adored, treasured, cherished, and healed. In that shadow season, I needed the light of these words to be the face of God. Taken for face value, each of them lifted my eyes to see Him more clearly. But when I pondered them sequentially, they proved to lead me into a deeper, and then still deeper understanding of the weight of God’s attention and affection toward me. Following are a few of the milestones of that journey.
Wanted: When I know I am wanted, it creates rest inside of me. Do I know that when I knock on the door of the heart of God, that he opens it with a giant joy-filled smile? He has waited for me, as though the separation was painful, and as he puts his arm around me, he whispers, ‘I am so happy you’re here.’
Adored: When I know I am wanted, I feel His adoring gaze. First though, I come to grips with God’s holiness. Unless I keep him in his rightful place, I minimize the miracle of his presence. On my own, I would be consumed like moth in a flame. But Jesus annihilated sin and ended the risk of my annihilation. In the shadow of the cross, I lock eyes with God, and feel no shame.
Treasured: God’s adoration deepens my ability to sit with him without feeling the need to perform, or even try to improve my standing. This ability to simply be in his presence will deepen into an understanding of being treasured. It’s the long pull of love’s connection, the commitment out of which true transformation of my idea of God begins. God treasures our relationship because in me he found the pearl of great price and sold everything for ransom.
Cherished: Here is where the character of God, and the truth of our sonship collide. Of all that God treasures, there is one He cherishes, one that he has sold the farm to bring into relationship, moved heaven and earth to open eyes to His unqualified devotion. Me! You! When we personalize this love, we feel cherished. To be cherished takes nothing from anyone else, acknowledges love for everyone, yet receives it as though we alone have the full weight of God’s attention.
When my boys were old enough to hold a rod, I began taking them to my favorite fishing holes. It turned out we did very little fishing. Most of the time ended with tangled lines. But it didn’t matter, because it wasn’t about fish, it was about my attention, or attunement to them. Those little guys loved to be under my feet, watching, listening, absorbing my affection. If I know anything about God, I think he wants us to feel the weight of his sole attention in the same way. He wants us to feel cherished.
Healed: Perhaps I’m a little naïve, but I do believe that the light of God’s face can pull us out of whatever dark hole we find ourselves. Whether it’s a prolonged dark night, or the briefest low, God’s healing love can bring the light of hope. Our willingness to face God in our lowest and ugliest moments, shows that we believe we are wanted, adored, treasured, cherished, and can be healed. We are his pearl of great price, ransomed out of slavery, and never rejected.
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“Perhaps I’m a little naïve, but I do believe that the light of God’s face can pull us out of whatever dark hole we find ourselves. “ yes..yes.
For your posters, were you referring to George McDonald’s diary of poems of an old man?
This was beautiful and timely. The acronym “WATCH” is such a grand reflection of the deep love and commitment of our Lord to us and what He has chosen to do to reconnect us with Him. I needed this today. Thanks, my friend.