Tuesday, March 22, 2011

teach me to know your love

Lately I've been forced to think in some "new" ways about why it's important to understand God's love for us; and not just in an intellectual sense but in a compelling, experiential, truly relational sense. Day in and day out, how do we understand God's love for us? So often we relegate importance to the strictly individual life but what about how understanding (and living) God's love impacts our life on a more holistic level (life with self and life with others and life with God).

In his message on Sunday, our pastor said "One of the most important things you can do for those who love you and indeed for the whole world is to learn to cherish God’s unconditional love for you." He also said, "A key to our spiritual formation it that we understand well the foundation of our relationship to God. God’s love for us is prior to and without respect to our good deeds, our bad behavior, or our religious life." It's so helpful and challenging (in a good way) to hear and be reminded of these truths again; to be reminded of the significance of living and understanding God's love for us such that our whole realm of existence is affected--all of our living and all of our interacting, like a web, is impacted by the foundational reality of how we view/understand/accept God's love for us.

Why do my days feel so themed? It seems that in all cases, whether I'm wrestling through my own thoughts, talking with a friend on the couch, asking God to work in my own heart, listening to another friend describe challenges he faces at work that reflect his (mis)understanding of God's love and his own vulnerability with sin...whatever it might be, there are themes.
I guess as I recognize the themes, I realize that 1. we aren't, any of us, alone in our learnings 2. the journey isn't meant to be experienced in bubbles of inward self-living but in outward forms of self-giving/sharing (and by so doing, the journey is a self-finding and an experience of real living) 3. God's commitment to our deepest needs and longings is of the truest kind. He's invested for the long haul.

I am consistently blown away by God's love; his committed faithfulness; his goodness; his redemption plan that often reveals itself in unlikely and uncomfortable ways (wholeness by way of brokenness? comfort through suffering?). All the while, he gives himself as a travelling presence and we are not alone.
Every day is a day to trust and entrust. I am weak but we have heard that "His mercies are new every morning." And so we pray for the courage to see those new mercies and live our strength of faith, even if it's faith like a small seed.

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