Monday, January 28, 2013

Julian of Norwich...Wallowing in God's Goodness!

I think it is to pray according to the goodness of God as Julian of Norwich describes it, is to pray as a pig wallows in mud. I remember as a junior high school student being on a retreat in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Central California with my church youth group and one of our youth sponsors gave a devotion on the goodness of God. As I read Julian of Norwich excepts from "Revelations of Divine Love" I was reminded of Debbie Jackson and her devotion. I also remember how moved to tears I was even as a 13 year old boy. It was not new to learn that God  loved me so much that he would die for me and desire a relationship with me. It was a new realization of God's goodness that moved me to a better place because of Debbie's devotional testimony.

Debbie Jackson's devotion used the word "wallow" in it over and over and over. We are to wallow in God..."we are to wallow in God's goodness" she would say. Debbie talked about how our feelings can be completely covered in God's goodness. Debbie talked about how our actions at home, school and church could be completely covered in God's goodness. Debbie talked about how our fun and celebrations could be completely covered in God's goodness. She then finished the talk by holding up a picture of a pig completely covered in wet, sticky mud. Debbie than pointed to the picture and said, "This is what is means to wallow in the mud....it is to be completely covered in mud." Debbie went on to explain how a pig doesn't sweat and that a pig needs the mud in order to survive and that is why it is completely covered or why the pig is willing to wallow in the mud. The pig would not survive without its ability to wallow. She closed by asking us if we knew how to survive? The answer was and still is today, "to be completely covered in God's goodness." It was a powerful devotion that has remained with me for 28 years.

As I was reading Julian, I was thinking about how her prayer to know God more was revealed in a new awareness of Christ's passion, to know bodily sickness, and then in her willingness to receive three wounds. It was in Julian's prayer that she was truly was asking for opportunities to "wallow" in God's goodness and this new revelation granted her the gifts to know God more because He is a good God.

It is Julian's words that state it best, "Just as our flesh is covered by clothing, and our blood is covered by our flesh, so are we, soul and body, covered and enclosed by the goodness of God." We are truly wallowing in the God's goodness as we are covered head to toe, flesh and soul, action and rest so that we might enter into a time of prayer that listens and responds because his goodness reveals his grace, provision, and virtue.

My Prayer, "Lord, thank you for your goodness and then demonstrating that goodness to me. Help my unbelief and may my faith always be a source to point others your direction. Amen."

You know I love ya, Don

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