It is a dangerous prayer to pray to experience and know the Father’s heart. He will indeed show you His heart, and it will come at an agonizing cost. For each person He will answer the prayer differently, as He knows His children best, what they can and cannot handle, and yet always stretching each one to their limit because He loves them and wants them to lean on Him.
Amid his suffering, Job says to his wife: “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” He was declaring the goodness of God, despite his circumstances. He was standing on an objective truth, even though his subjective reality was like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was there that He Himself wept and bore our sorrows and griefs and heartbreaks: carrying all of them… the weight of all those emotions from all those people who existed, came before, and would exist, including myself, is unfathomable. Carrying just the weight of my own is enough. If I were to add in full even just a few other people’s griefs, sorrows, and heartbreaks, it would be nearly too much to bear. But the infinite God, in His finiteness, took all. Not only that, but every guilt, shame, and transgression… He truly became sin. Scorned and rejected, His reputation tarnished, He became the embodiment of sin. Utterly decimated and forsaken not only by His friends and family, but His Heavenly Father Himself, all for the sake of His bride. A love unreciprocated, a love that would and does die for His beloved, a love that is the essence of second chances without end and considers that to be true romance, a love that experiences abandonment and rejection and still says, “I cannot give you up” and tells His bride “you cannot change the heart I have for you.” This is our God. This is love without conditions. This is covenant love. This is the Father’s heart.
The Father’s heart says to Abraham, “If you disappoint Me, abandon Me, walk away from Me, I will love you with an everlasting love. I’m in it to win it, no matter what. Nothing can change that. I am faithful when you are faithless. I am committed when you are not. I will do what you can’t, I am beside you forever even if you don’t want me to be.”
The privilege of sharing in His sufferings is being loved enough by Him that He gives you even a minute glimpse and a piece of His heart. There’s nothing more painful, more costly, more grievous, and yet simultaneously there is no greater gift. It’s the gift He gave to Job, as later, in the form of Jesus, He Himself would become the ultimate Job in Job’s place. To receive over time the Father’s heart, even for just one person, as painful as it may be, is a gut-wrenching gift of beauty. It reveals Him in us. It produces the peaceable fruits of righteousness and repentance… it pushes a man towards integrity, action, and humility, as he himself wears away and Christ who is in him is revealed more and more until He who is our life, our real life, our new life, is the one left standing. That is the sanctification He talks about; not something He makes in us or puts us through, but us becoming who we already are in Him… until we are no more, until we fade away, and He remains. He is our true self, our real life, and sanctification is just the revealing of Him. And we know that this kind of love is not from ourselves. It is nothing we could ever conjure up, and it is nothing we could ever live up to. This kind of love is a gift revealed over time, like a sculptor chiseling away at a stone to reveal a pearl that’s inside. Jesus, of course, is the pearl, the treasure in the field, the embodiment of agape. He puts Himself in us and then because He loves us, puts us through or allows us to go through things that chip away at the exterior, until the glimmer of agape is what shines through. Once revealed, it’s not something we can help, change, or put away, because it’s not us, but Him.
I thank Him for showing me His heart although it comes at such a painful cost. It is a strange thing to in some paradoxical way, thank Him for agony, but how else does one experience His heart? And if this is the heart He has revealed in me for even one person, how much greater is His love for me, and His bride? By experiencing even a fraction of the Father’s heart, I have only grazed the surface of infinity.