Monday, April 02, 2007

The Honey That Drips

I wrote an e-mail to my friend Misty that I felt summed up my spiritual thinking right now so well that I didn't want to attempt to rewrite the same thing, but instead just put it here in its fullness:

"This morning's church was so brilliantly wonderful. I felt like I tasted a drop of the "honey that drips" -- the sweetness of knowing the Lord. I read that Sarah Edwards had moments when she was taken up in spirit into such communion with the Lord that her family and all around her could just see her bliss. It was not a life-long, ongoing thing, which makes me think that there must have been times that she LONGED to have that experience again -- but maybe she was just so contented by the time she truly savored the sweetness of Jesus that she was satisfied with the hum-drum in between. I feel like that is a bit where I am at right now. I don't mean huge, emotional "experiences" (though there certainly is emotion), just a period where the veil is lifted a bit and it all becomes so real, and Christ so precious, that the shadow land seems far away, and you can't even believe that you are brushing your hair out of your face, because why would it matter? Besides today, I had another one of those moments this week during chapel when Piper was speaking. I heard him on Tuesday, and it was great, of course, but on Thursday, the Holy Spirit was just bearing witness to my spirit and the truth was speaking such Rameh to my soul. As we were walking out, Kevin said "I feel like I was just in a trance" -- EXACTLY.

You might assume that such moments might make you utterly dissatisfied with the rest of life, and I admit, I did feel like "I want to go back to Thursday" a couple times since then. But actually, I think that the preciousness of communion with the Spirit is the fact that you feel so committed to counting all things as trash in your life except for Christ. It gives such perspective that it does, in fact, lift the load a bit in the days to follow. HE matters. And really nothing else. So the sun shining down is His kiss upon your head, and the petals falling from the trees are His lashes on your face. He is so real, He is almost touchable. Even now, as I write this, the thought pricks my eyes a bit. I think this is what is meant in the song "I want to know you". Not "know" in an intellectual way -- like "knowing Theology" somehow compares with "knowing GOD".

I have been wanting to write about this to you. Not that I have anything I need to hear back from you on it, but because I just wanted to talk about it somehow."

I feel the same with you, my blogging friends. I wanted to write about this not to have to hear feedback, but just because I wanted to talk about how precious my relationship with Christ is (do you know when you are infatuated with somebody romantically and you just are happy to have anybody listen to you talk about him/her? It's sort of like that). The quiet calm that contents me as I consider Him in His beauty is like "the honey that drips" -- a taste is so sweet, it truly satisfies.


Hindto said...

Ummmmmmmmmmm....precious. This is where my soul is right now. The Holy Spirit has been drenching my soul so frequently w/moments like you spoke of, it almost seems out-of-body.

Now, Im not saying that to 'freak' out any Baptist who may read this, but...I tell you, I think when you want the Holy Spirit to fill you in such a deep, deep way. He will. And when that happens, you have to be prepared to be a I say...Charismatic? (not in the denomination way most think)

When you ask the Holy Spirit for more of Him, and you are an open to Him, the power of God in Christ is almost breathtaking. You actually see God's power, not just think about it or read about it or hear about it.

Currently reading "A God Entranced Vision of All Things" by Piper about J.Edwards. I have been humbled and excited to see the joy in loving God and the moving of the Spirit.

Thank you for sharing. Love to you from Michigan!

Hindto said...

If it does freak out some Baptists....that may be a good thing! (Im saying that in love!) I am Baptist too!

John said...

Gretchen - thanks for this posting. It has encouraged my heart to remember those times (that I too easily forget) that God has lifted the veil, as you so aptly put, and reminded me of the surpassing greatness of knowing Him. This post is another in several 'stones' that the Holy Spirit has been dropping in the pond of my heart about laying up my treasures in heaven, and remembering that not only is everything in this world passing away, but that this world is such a dim shadow of the joys to be experienced when we get to go home and be with our King and Savior.
Anyhoo, I found your blog through a link from 'Said at Southern'...and really enjoyed your post. What a blessing to be able to enjoy Dr. Piper's teaching and infectious joy and profound love for Jesus.
I noticed you are reading 'Valley of Vision' and was wondering if you had heard of the Sovereign Grace Music 'Valley of Vision' CD? It has really ministered to my soul in the last few months. Check it out at (Sorry, had to use TinyURL to make a short enough link to post...but I promise it goes to Sovereign Grace Ministries website for the 'Valley of Vision' CD...:-)

Well, thanks again for the God glorifying post!

Much Joy in Christ,

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Yay! Isn't God completely awesome! It's amazing how troubles fade when God is the focus. Troubles? What troubles? I've got God! Life is GOOD!

And Hindto, I'm a Baptist too, and I completely get your comment. :-) Sometimes we limit God, don't we?

Anonymous said...

This past Sunday, our Baptist Pastor's message was so inspiring that I felt the Holy Spirit's presence at that moment. It is a somewhat physical feeling that moves through you (kind of like shivers up the spine, but in a good way). I've had that experience before, but not often. It's at those moments when the world seems to melt away and priorities come into focus as never before. I understood my need to be bold for Christ and to share the truth with others. How great is our Lord!

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GloryandGrace said...

Monday or Tuesday night dinner and then maybe a trip to the pie kitchen?

Gretchen said...

Karen -- I somehow knew you would just get me. I am so impressed that you are reading "A God-Entranced Vision". It looked like a rather deep and hard read for me, though I may be underestimating myself. I have handled every single Piper book this week because of our big shipment that we got in due to him being on campus, and then returning them now that he's gone, so I have been thinking hard about choosing one to read myself. You would recommend it? I was considering reading one of the Swans are not silent series. Thanks for the comment! It was good to hear from you.

John -- nice to meet you! I actually have listened to "Valley of Vision" CD, but I don't own it. I have one song on my MP3 player, but I really want the whole CD. I keep waiting to see if we will get it in where I work! I may need to try out the url you gave me!

Missy -- I hear what you say about limiting God!

Morning Rose -- I totally know what you mean!

Jenn -- thank you so much! You are so precious! I'm totally stoked that we are buddies! I'll chime in with Mrs. Ware, then and urge and beg you to STAY! :) Thanks so much for the encouragement, friend.

Grace -- Most likely one of the two nights should work out as long as I'm not working at PBK. I'll know by tomorrow night. SORRY I STILL HAVEN'T RETURNED YOUR BOOK!

GloryandGrace said...

I just saw that you're reading Holiness by J.C. Ryle -- I just started it a couple of nights ago!!

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Misty Ferguson said...

Look, Gret, I can post comments now. I don't know why, but I couldn't read blogs unless I had a login all of the sudden. So, I got one. And, upon catching up on your blog, I realized to my shame that I had not responded to your so-important email which you have since posted here. Of course, I know exactly what you mean, though I think that the fact that I have not responded because I have been too busy to think about what you said, much less to feel what you've described. I hate that so much about myself, and you know I've always admired your focus. You have the ability to focus on the true important instead of the urgent. I know that you have as much stress and as many unknowns as I do--I wish that I even thought about getting quiet for long enough to listen to and love the Holy Spirit. SOO Sorry I didn't respond . . . love you so much. Misty

katydidsmiles said...

I love this post. I love that you are so unashamed. I have had moments like this - and you express it so well, there is such a longing to have those moments - and then I get frustrated with myself because I feel like i am longing for those sweet precious moments more than I am simply longing for my savior.

I went for so long with such an emotionless faith that was merely and purely my will holding fast to what I knew to be true hoping that my feelings would eventually follow through.

Lately I've been on the other side. So often I get caught up in the sweet bliss of being with my savior that I go to the opposite extreme and think that this is what loving my Lord with all my heart is.

I looked up the word heart in my handy dandy Hebrew-Greek Key study Bible - the cheaters version of actually studying the original languages - Heart often referred to simply the center of a persons being. We think heart=emotions. The center for the Hebrews I've heard was their gut! Haha! Can you imagine?

Anyway, the point being that loving God with all my heart does not refer to my emotions - -though those moments are sweet and DO like you said offer such motivation to keep going when life is dry - how did you say it, "when the veil is lifted" - - Heart refers to the center, the core of who I am. Feelings can be so fickle - obviously, like you said - what do we do in the humdrum? Are we less saved? Are we following Christ any less? Has He drawn away from us?

Anyway, I always "fear" that I will distance people to talk so openly about what I'm experiencing. You are a good testimony and witness and role model!

Thank you for posting this! I don't know you (but I hear about you a lot from Johanna ;) so I feel like I do - I can taste your "fullness of life" as Johanna puts it in this post.