The words and bars and notes and very standard rhythm all drifted bigger into the center until the hymn swam in front of me last Sunday. And now, mid-week, I'm remembering the blurry words all over again. I read this devotional from John Piper, "When Will I Be Satisfied?" because it was one of many emails waiting when I got back from vacation. I finally got around to it today and I think it goes deeper into the question I posed Monday night about bliss. It's all tangled together, actually - the joy and the work and the sweat and the bliss. Vacations give time and space for these kinds of questions, I guess.
Piper reflects on John 17:26, “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” in these powerful statements:
If God’s pleasure in the Son becomes our pleasure, then the object of our pleasure, Jesus, will be inexhaustible in personal worth. He will never become boring or disappointing or frustrating. No greater treasure can be conceived than the Son of God.
Did you follow that? If God's pleasure (Jesus) becomes our pleasure, then our pleasure can NEVER BE EXHAUSTED.
Joy doesn't end (vacation or otherwise) because Jesus doesn't end. Isn't that magnificent? You will never want more joy than is available, because the pleasure you find in Jesus is inexhaustible.
The joy is INSIDE Jesus and He is INSIDE us.
This is the greater depth I needed to plumb! When I came up and got un-swallowed from vacation bliss, I was revived to work with redeemed blood coursing through my veins. But that didn't necessarily solve the joy question. Was my bliss sequestered in vacation - is it only there that joy can live?
Praise God the answer is "No!" He is not only my redemption, but my joy. The kind of joy that makes me dance on the beach and makes me dance in my car and makes me dance with my co-workers and makes me dance with the children on my caseload. THIS is the joy of salvation that David wanted to be restored to him - the joy that makes us dance through the work and sweat and troublesome weekdays.
The love of Christ is that deep.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me! Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore! How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore! How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own; How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best! ’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest! O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me; And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!