He Loves Because He Loves

I want to share a recent realization of the tangible, profound, and radical goodness of God. One day after class in BSSM, there was an announcement that BSSM and Simpson University were going to have a basketball game. When I heard this, I was (1) surprised that BSSM even had a basketball team and (2) I  knew I had to go because it was two of my worlds coming together. Having graduated and currently working at Simpson, as well as being a BSSM students, I thought it would be a good game to watch. 

When I got to work, I told my co-workers about the game and I was told that Simpson staff can get in for free, but I realized that I never got a Simpson Employee badge, so I went to I.T. to get one. I quickly ran upstairs and took my picture and was given a staff ID card. After putting it on, I felt super fancy and official. I left the I.T. department and waited for the elevator. As I was waiting, I looked at my BSSM ID card picture and started comparing it to my Simpson ID card picture. I stared at both pictures (pictured above) and I could see there was a tangible difference.

As I looked at my BSSM picture I wanted to start crying because I could see the pain in my smile. I felt that my BSSM picture had a harsh smile and that I was trying too hard. Whereas, the other picture, felt more authentic and natural. 

While comparing these pictures, I was reminded of the first few weeks when BSSM was starting, one of the instructors told us that his wife was one the photographers for orientation. She shared with him that as she took all of our pictures, she could see so much pain just by looking into our eyes, which was the most she's seen in a single class. Our instructor asked the entire class at main session to stand up, if that resonated with anyone and practically everyone stood up. There are roughly 1400 students in BSSM-1st Year. 

My spirit was transfixed on these pictures because I knew both were still the same person, but as I held both ID cards in my hands, in awe of how different both pictures were-- even I thought they were two different people. I finally got downstairs to the Admissions Department and I told a few of my co-workers about this revelation. I held my Simpson badge, which had the newer picture and said that this is the confident, God-filled, and free MJ. I shook my head thinking how differently my cheeks set, how the corners of my mouth curled, and my eyes. My eyes were the most noticeable to me. The goodness of the Lord is what lives inside of me. The work and intentional ways in which He has pursued me has brightened my face. Doubt, fear, and limitations are no longer existing within me. God has reminded me of who He is and what He says about me. 

I couldn't stop staring at the newer picture of me-- I guess I can just look at the mirror-- but my heart shouts for joy to see a radical difference in receiving the truth of who Jesus is and who He calls me to be because He lives inside of me that He has to come out! One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 84, which begins with, "How lovely is your dwelling place,/ Lord Almighty!/ My soul years, even faints,/ for the courts of the LORD;/ my heart and flesh cry out/ for the living God" (NIV). My heart, soul, mind, and body resound for more of Jesus! I love Him so much!

My core shakes with the desire that you, dear reader, will also know and seek His face to the point that every part of you cries out for the presence of the Lord. I declare that you will encounter radical and tangible moments with the Holy Spirit that praises and worship become a default setting to the way you live out your life. I hope you know that you are called to live out in love, purity, grace, and peace. Thank you for reading!



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