“Satan knows your name but calls you by your sin, Jesus knows your sin but calls you by your name.”
Reminders abound in every day life of my savior’s love for me. My natural inclination is to condemn myself for my sinful behavior, but His love for me frees me from myself.
There is this one beautiful thing (amongst an eternity of them) which I love about our God. That is His unending pleasure, it would seem, in forgiving me of my sins. When I lie just a little white lie or when I linger too long in my sinful thoughts, he forgives me completely.
This is good news today. It is the good news I need every day.
There are some who have found an ability to manipulate their emotions in order to avoid a reaction instead of a response. There are those who say that our faith is simply a way of figuring this out and giving it a name, God. The difference between my faith in the God of the Bible and someone else feeling that there is no god at all is simple.
I see and experience life as unfulfilling and devoid of something, needing “someone else” to be the missing piece in my life. That piece, for me, is the God and Jesus of the Bible. I have lived and strived to find meaning and purpose in all of this and just cannot seem to find it on my own. Meditation, study, focus; none of these find the piece I am searching for. None of these ARE the piece I’m in need of.
The other side believes that this piece is in my mind and that rational thinking and logic will prevail to prove that there is no God and that we only need to use our minds to manipulate our emotions and our surroundings to find a pleasurable scenario that brings about a positive life experience. Our fear of death and our insecurities can be dealt with thru logic and science. Science has proven the evolution of man and our universe. There doesn’t need to be some big purpose to it all. We are just a result of the right chemical reactions at the right time. It’s just a simple anomaly which happens in the universe.
Eventually we will find other life out there. I actually think that is true. But I cannot find truth in the thought or “proof” that there isn’t a great designer behind all of this “evolution” and that there isn’t a grand design being made for us, by Him. When you push against the grain as I have and strive to live a life that is “fulfilling” only to find sadness and fear at every turn, you begin to conclude that perhaps there is something you’re doing wrong. I took that to mean that there was a piece missing that I, myself, cannot replace. The problem I have and I believe most people have, is relinquishing “control” for a future that we want to see happen. Here’s the deal: we have choices. Always. It’s not as simple as making the right ones though. That is important. But we also have to choose to trust in the midst of what seems like a lack of involvement from our God. What seems like a neglecting of us by our God. We have to choose faith when we see our plan not happen and we realize that we have been struggling to forget that He is here and always has been. It’s not as simple as making the right choice and then having positive outcomes. We talk about it and we say we believe. But when something major happens, say we lose someone very close to us, we begin to feel that utter aloneness again. We cannot understand why our assumption of God’s plan and ours didn’t meet up. We become angry with Him. We doubt Him. We struggle. He doesn’t budge though. He stays right next to us. He reminds us of His presence and He offers relief to our pain. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus acknowledged our struggle and our pain and offers His relief that has no comparison.
My pain and my grief and my suffering do not negate His reality, His love, and my need for Him. Do I believe? Will I stand strong in my faith when my time comes or when I feel another emptiness approach? I pray that the answer is yes. I desire for the answer to be yes. I will strive to make my heart an open and available place to receive God’s love and to learn how to reflect it to everyone around me. Everyone. All the time.
I had a grandmother named Lorena. We called her Rena. She had the Holy Spirit in her every day I can remember. There were lots of days that I remember. She loved The Lord like I’ve never seen and yet, I don’t remember her every pushing God on me. She always had a bible on her offer table and I would ask questions about whether she’d read the whole thing. She always answered yes. In fact, I think she said more than once. I always thought that was amazing. It’s a HUGE book! How could you ever find time to read that big thing? But she did. And she was a beacon of love in our family. I know now why that was. It wasn’t because she was logical and it wasn’t because she understood the scientific reality of the world around her. It was that she was filled with God’s Holy Spirit and she experienced Him in each moment of her life as it unfolded. There is something that cannot be explained there. That is the “piece” I’m looking for. And when my faith is strong I experience it too. It’s being love to everyone that is our purpose. Forgiving and seeing everyone as a beautiful creation, because they are. Especially those we do not like or those we think lower than ourselves. Pride blinds us to God’s love. Be love today. Cory! Be love today!
Trust in Him. Love Him. And be His love to the world.