It's All Too Much At Once

It's hard to explain. You know, the way it is when you are trying to retell a joke or convey the details of an event or describe something you recently saw. Failing in the effort to convince anyone of the validity of your story, you end the attempt by saying, "you just had to be there." As humorous as it may be, in many cases, you really do wish the person could have been there, sharing the moment with you, consuming the same experience that would give you hours of conversation late into the night. Your life was impacted so much by the events or details, that you wish that same thing for everyone you know. If you had the ability to arrange cosmic events to move in someone else’s favor, you would not even hesitate.

This feeling I had earlier was just one of those times. I can try to explain it, but in my attempt, the weight and significance of the story could get lost. But it’s a risk worth taking. Today, I felt the love of God so strong, that through tears I had to ask Him to release the cloak of sheer goodness and blessing so I could catch my breath. It was literally too much for me to physically or emotionally handle.

Now that the moment has passed, I’m doubting myself for asking for a reprieve. Coward isn’t the descriptor I would prefer for myself. Was I indeed a coward by the request? I’ve only had this happen a few times that I can remember over the past 15 or so years. It truly is a difficult thing to explain. The reality of the goodness of God, His love for us, the sheer volume of blessing He has rained down on us is crushing in a physical sense, and can be suffocating in an emotional sense. But at the same time it created this overwhelming admiration you might have for someone you deeply love and respect; this attachment that could only compare to a mother seeing her newborn for the first time or the swell you feel in your heart when you embrace someone you love and they embrace you with the same intensity. This emotional feeling creates a pain in your chest, a sort of heartache, but in a good way.

In Luke 10:27 (and other places), it says to love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength. And even if that were humanly possible, it would not equal even a fraction of the love God has for us. It’s the same way that we can only take a sliver of the energy and warmth from the sun, the full strength of it would evaporate us before we were even aware. I sometimes wonder if what Christ felt on the cross, as well as before, was proportionate to the love He felt from His Father, knowing that ultimately it was His Fathers love that was saving the world. Was it pain from the burden, the hardship, the sacrifice or was it sheer weight and volume of love He had for the creation He had made, knowing that all could be made right by what He was about to do? I would rather believe, based on what I felt today, that God’s love is so overwhelming that from time to time, He chooses to remind us of it, He allows us to feel it deeply which does nothing more or nothing less than affirm who He really is.

In my thinking, love is the cell adhesive molecule, the “laminen,” as Louis Giglio describes it, shaped like a cross. It’s what’s holding the entire universe together. And if it’s strong enough to do that, I shouldn’t be surprised that a microscopic sliver of this love would overwhelm me. In asking for God to “lighten up” on the love, of course I don’t mean it literally. I want to be connected to that love, receive all the blessings and feel that I matter to God. And I desperately want this for everyone I know. I want to be changed by it; I want to be moved by it and I want to keep being overwhelmed by it. So, I’ll hold on to the episode today as a reminder that there are more important things going on in the universe and that in the end…love wins.