“Pictures of Peach People”

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in A Story, Blog | 0 comments

It is a story he has always been telling and longing for us to hear. So, what is the story? And who is he that has been telling it? The story is “life that is truly life.” It’s extravagance whether in plenty or pain; it’s real without agenda or arrogance. A “life that is truly life” has been scripted by our Father God since the beginning of time, and he invites us today to see, seek and savor all that he is and wants us to be.

A picture of this extravagance happened long before we ever knew it. We have realized that Father God had been whispering this story all along through the people he has weaved in our journey. Whispers of his love and his vision had been spoken over us our whole life, and he has been drawing us. Whether we read their book, watched their life or experienced their love, we saw glimmers of this “life to the full” and pursued the pictures they gave us. Though our album is quite full, two snapshots come to mind.

I think of our friends, Roy and Louise Wood, who spoke first to us of a friendship with Father, who painted it through their words and actions each time we were with them. They were constant learners, running after all that God had for them. They talked of God as though he was a great friend and that he spoke to them in rich ways. Father God has said to us through them, “I am sitting with you just as Mimuh did holding your hand with her warmth and strength, laughing with you and loving you. I am Pappa taking you on the adventure of fishing and valuing your skill and expertise. Like him, I will give you the serious lure and celebrate when you catch the big one. I delight in you. If you want my voice, this is what I want to say. I love you as they loved you. I am gentle, kind and unchanging. Run after me.” We saw them doing this, and we saw the peace. This peace and joy could not be explained through circumstance. Mimuh and Pappa knew a loving God, and it had the most amazing effect on their life. Through these encounters, we always left wanting more. More of this God they served. More of this God they loved.

I think about a Navigator conference that our friend and discipler, Duane Hallof, invited us to attend to hear Dr. Robert Coleman speak of discipleship. More than his overwhelming knowledge of scripture and strategic plan for disciple making, we will remember the way he clutched his Bible and sang,

“There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar; For the Father waits over the way to prepare us a dwelling place there. In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore. In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore” (“There’s a Land That is Fairer than Day” by Sanford Bennett).

Dr. Coleman was gripped by the story, God’s story of love and freedom. You see, he had all the knowledge in the world. He knew the scriptures well, but there was more! He even had quite an extensive plan for evangelism and discipleship. But, again, there was more! He emulated a lovesick freedom that was intoxicating. I have recorded in my journal at the beginning of that conference – “open our eyes; give us vision.” Father God did just that in the life of Dr. Coleman.

I think of the writers and their stories like Henri Nowen in The Road To Daybreak, John Eldredge and Brent Curtis in The Sacred Romance, Philip Yancey in What’s So Amazing About Grace?, Dallas Willard in The Divine Conspiracy, and John Piper in Desiring God to just name a few. These writers lifted the veil of our eyes to something more. They reached into those places of cloudiness and began to paint such colors over our lives right before our very eyes.

And the list goes on. We have many stories to share – many friends in our journey that have captured this “life that is truly life.” Recently, we had the great gift to hear two more stories of Father’s love. Listen to some of their words as they spoke of their story with Father God.

“I began to question – is there something more? I then realized that I was worth more, and that I wanted to know more about this God.”

And another friend said, “The Christian life, the gospel, appealed to me, because I was so broken, confused and at the end of myself. I was trying to live this life searching for some kind of peace and understanding. I was bound up. Nothing made sense until the gospel was preached to me. Being redeemed is the most profitable thing in my life. I have an ever-increasing freedom in my relationship with God, an ever-increasing freedom. His truth and his way is the life force I was looking for.”

All of us come to this same place, don’t we? Is there something more? When the things of this world show their true colors, we come up wanting. And then there he is, Father God in his amazing love and power, waiting. He waits for your simple pursuit. He will overwhelm you with his extravagant love! Can you taste it?

Psalm 63:1-4
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

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