Imagine That

22 02 2011

As I’ve noted before, I have a very visual imagination. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on the reel playing in my mind at any given time. Lately I’ve been sabotaged by scenes from Cooter County. (I blame you, Tina. I hope you’re proud.) I’ll be in an everyday situation (dinner table, church, about to speak to an auditorium full of people about God’s purposes in suffering), behaving as a mature and proper adult should, and suddenly I see Euneeda Bisquit doing her jazzercise or Justice Goode in camouflage or Shocantelle Brown demonstrating how she uses hot water in her salon, and I lose it.

That can be the bad (though, I admit, often fun) part. The always good part is how it places me before the throne of grace in prayer. Oswald Chambers says, “If you have never used your imagination to put yourself before God, begin to do it now.” I expect this comes more easily to people with a visual imagination. When I pray, I don’t see myself sitting at my desk. I see myself in the presence of holy and unapproachable Light, and in my mind, I am prostrate before the almighty Maker and Sustainer of all things. I see Him as the One enthroned above all rule, authority, might, and dominion; the One who does according to His will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and no one can stay His hand; the One whose eyes are a flame of fire and yet who saves my tears in a bottle and numbers the hairs on my head. God of the universe. Tender Shepherd. Protecting Father. Returning King who is coming to claim His Bride.

I see this, and my heart exults even as it bows low. And in this consecrated place, the prayer that often rises of itself is this: “Lord, I present my body to you as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable because of Christ. Lead me and fill me and anoint me today to do Your will to Your glory.”

A living sacrifice. Here, Lord. This is for you. This body. This brain. These talents. This (ahem) imagination. The moments of this day with its agenda and all the planned and unplanned encounters it will hold. All for You.

Sounds generous, doesn’t it? Noble. Giving it all up for Him.

The longer I live, the more I realize that all I offer to God is but a minuscule return on what He has given me. I’m like the child who takes a cookie from his mom’s cookie jar, hands it to her, and says, “This is for you.” Sure, she knows that the cookie, the jar, the kitchen, and every morsel of daily bread that keeps this child alive came straight from her, but she still smiles at the offering. Still accepts it with joy, because she loves her child and cherishes his affection for her.

We live in a culture of entitlement. The endlessly repeated chorus of “That’s not fair,” and “I don’t deserve this” proves we do. But what’s fair? And what do we deserve? If God were truly fair and gave us what we truly deserve, we’d all be burning in hell right now. God is holy and must be just, and yet He desired mercy, so He spent His justice on Christ, His Son, the Lamb of God, and the only perfect sacrifice for sin.

He spent His justice on Christ so He could lavish His grace on us. He bought us with a price, and we are not our own, yet — wonder of wonders — He invites us to offer ourselves freely. He allows us the privilege of sacrifice. He accepts our cookie and counts it as real gift, even though the whole cookie jar belongs to Him.

God of the universe desires relationship with me. With you. Imagine that.

This post is part of Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. Today’s word is “Sacrifice.” Visit Peter’s site to read more posts on this topic.


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12 responses

22 02 2011
katdish

Powerful, truthful and convicting post, Jeanne.

But you really shouldn’t have put that link to Cooter County at the beginning. I also blame Tina.

22 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Some day Tina will have to give an account.

(I just cracked myself up typing the above sentence. Oh, the irony. Mercy indeed.)

I hesitated to link to Cooter County, mostly because it definitely has it’s inappropriate moments. But wow. I love the absurd and random sense of humor. And the puns. Yeah. I’m sitting here laughing out loud just thinking about it. Tina is in big trouble with God.

22 02 2011
Hazel I. Moon

Such a positive Post! We are to be a living sacrifice to Him. I think using our imagination in prayer is good. Visualize God on his throne and seat the person you are praying for on his lap with you at his feet worshiping him. Lovely thoughts here.

22 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Hazel!

22 02 2011
Glynn

It’s one investment that no one can beat the return on. No one.

Good post, Jeanne.

22 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Amen to that, sir. Thanks! 🙂

22 02 2011
Sandra Heska King

Love seeing through your imagination.

But I’ve never heard of Cooter County. Off to check with my good friend, Mr. Google.

22 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Sandra.

If you want to visit Cooter County, just click the link in my post. It’s a YouTube channel. But once you get there, don’t blame me. Blame Tina.

24 02 2011
Mari-Anna

Such a wonderful post! Thank you! I love the cookie jar analogy! Very powerful! Glad to connect with you. Be blessed as you bless others!

25 02 2011
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Mari-Anna! So glad you “connected.” 🙂

24 02 2011
Angela

“Yeah…imagine that…” The God of the universe wants to spend time with me. If no one else…if no other thing makes me feel special that does. He does. Him…the “I AM” … the creator loves me and finds me “worthy” of spending time with Him.

Isn’t that something? The God of the universe finds us, His children “worthy” important? I just love that. “All is grace,” with Him isn’t it?

25 02 2011
jeannedamoff

It is a marvel, isn’t it? I wish my restless heart would always remember. All is grace, indeed.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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