I don’t know about you, but I keep having to learn the same lessons every day, it seems. I’m not saying that I necessarily forget, but it appears that new layers of depth are added each day and I become more appreciative. I have the ability to write what I believe, but in the past, I have had a hard time communicating those beliefs in conversation. In my heart I know what I believe, but I have difficulty conveying it in a way that is easily understood. So, I quit trying. The way I see it, if God wants me to talk about my belief in Him, He will give me the words.
So, what do I believe? I believe it’s all about love. It always has been but we have been so distracted by our physical lives that we fail to recognize the incredible life God has provided for us all. Especially those of us in the U.S. We are spoiled. Even those who are impoverished are in much better shape than those people in third world countries who hardly have a roof over their heads. If we were to take away all of the physical amenities we enjoy, what would we have to be thankful for? A lot.
I have learned over and over (and am still learning) for the past few years that our relationship with God is a beautiful love story. It starts with God desiring companionship, so He creates Man (us). Then, Man allows himself to become deceived and betrays God by doing the one thing He told us not to do, in turn opening the door to sin in our lives. Remember, sin is disobeying God. That’s all it is, nothing more dramatic (unless we make it so), but in reality it’s what creates all the unnecessary drama in our lives. But God, in His infinite love and wisdom, gave us the Ultimate Example in Jesus Christ, His Son, who lived life on Earth without sin (only because He trusted the Father with His whole being), and then died the most brutal death as payment for our redemption. That’s love. There is no one, not even my husband, who loves me that much and I can’t say I love anyone that much, myself. But we are told to do just that.
Here is the lesson. We CAN love that much, but don’t necessarily have to (at least in the demonstrative sense). There will be certain strong and brave people who will become martyrs for the faith (there already have been many in the last 2000 years). I would consider it an honor to be counted as one of them, but when I really think about it, could I do it? No. Not in my own strength, there is no way I could do it, but then, neither could any of those who did before me. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”. That is the only way we are able to accomplish anything for God’s glory. But once we are able to fully rely on God in all capacities, the rest of the ride is easy.
The first thing we have to do, if we want to progress in our relationship with God, is learn what His character is in regards to love. If we are created in His image, then He also provided us with those same characteristics (somewhere within our being). He will help us tap into those characteristics if we rely on Him and stop trying to do everything ourselves. Then we can go out and start practicing little tidbits of love here and there to those people around us, until it becomes second nature to our character. If the love is truly in our hearts, then it will freely flow from our character and we will lovingly give all the credit to God, Who is the only one who deserves it. It’s the true “Circle of Life” and we are all privileged to have the opportunity to take part in it. So, I’m anxiously waiting for the next level of this lesson, if I’m ready for it. In the meantime, I plan to look at everyone around me and think in my heart, “God loves you”. Once I get that cemented in my heart, then I can go out and do what I need to do to show it. It gives me purpose.