She’s my niece. You may have read her words before on my page, and these words are heartfelt, birthed from tears and true…
“He is jealous for us”. I can’t even remember the first time I had heard these words sung on the radio or in a Sunday service. Yet, it wasn’t until 3 years ago that I began to question the gravity of what those words actually meant.
“He is jealous for us”. Those words echoed in my thoughts as I tried to grasp what individuals could have possibly understood by the lyrics.
This questioning came during a time in my life that I jumped at any opportunity to criticize trendy Christian culture. “Another catchy phrase without any true meaning behind it,” I told myself, “as if the culture needs any more of that.”
“God is perfect, “ I argued. “He does not struggle with things such as jealousy or envy, let alone does he have any reason to be jealous of us. How could God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the One whom the winds and the waves obey, possibly be jealous?”
Then a year later, after forming my hard and fast judgment , there those words are again in the one place I couldn’t argue against; there in red letters were the words of God Himself, “For I the Lord your God am a jealous God”(Ex 20:5) a warning given to the Israelites to not worship any God before Him.
There in the very word of God were the same words I had mocked time and time again. Yet I still didn’t understand. It didn’t make sense. And in my desire to be right, I closed my Bible that day chalking up the words to nothing more than mere metaphor. And I moved on…
But two years later, I sat in my dorm room with what felt like the first opportunity to be alone in more than a month. I begrudgingly put my laptop away trying to forget the amount of school work I had due and I opened my Bible for the first time the semester.
And like clockwork, the moment I opened my Bible was the very same moment my phone began to ring. I look back and forth between the two rationalizing reasons I should pick up the phone. And then just like the days before, my attention was accounted for the entire rest of the day.
Time and time again this same scenario played throughout the semester. My attention and my affection became high dime commodities I couldn’t give up less my relationship with my boyfriend, my classes, or my friendships would fail.
It wasn’t until a few short months later when the relationship with the first boy I had ever loved came to an end, when I moved into a house off of campus and felt the loneliest and most heartbroken I had ever been, that I finally then began to realize what those words actually meant.
“He is jealous for us” All the nights I couldn’t sleep from the anxiety I had never previously struggled with, all the times I felt as if I couldn’t focus because all the while I had been focusing on all the wrong things, all the times I would get sick week after week after week. It hit me all at once.
My antagonizing lack of peace was God’s still small voice, my anxiety was God bringing me to need Him more, my crippling insecurities was Him turning my affections towards Him and away from myself, my lack of health was all to allow me to experience His stillness.
And even my heartbreak, it was simply to bring me back to my one true love.
He is a jealous God. A God who is not to be triffled with. He is a God who “ makes wars cease to the ends of the earth, who breaks the bow and shatteres the sphere, and burns the chariots with fire. (Psalm 46) He is a God who is ruthlessly fighting for our hearts, a God who desires all of us. A God who does not settle for simply part of us.
He is a God who as C. S Lewis said, is not so much concerned with our time or talents or money as He is with simply having us; our whole self. A God who did not come to torment our natural self but to kill it so that He instead can create in us a new heart with His desires and His will.
We can give ourselves to God so that in exchange God can give us Himself. His heart shall be our own; a better loves story than any man can offer.
And when we find ourselves getting frustrated because it seems as if God isn’t concerned enough over our situation or comfort or worldy desires, we must remind ourselves that He is after something far greater than the things we deam important in this world.
If we feel as if a battle has been waged for our souls, It is because it has.
If we feel as if our affection and our attention is fought after, it is because God isn’t giving up on us.
And even when we resist God’s love, He still fights for us; Because our God is a jealous God. Yes, crazy as it seems the Creator of heaven and earth, the One whom the wind and the waves obey is jealous for you.
Amen. Allyson. Amen