We finally got the call we were expecting, but didn’t want to get…Court’s dad left this imperfect life for the perfect one Monday night…As you’ve read, I’ve known many who’ve battled a disease or left us through tragic accident, well, more and more often as the years go by. It is to be expected, unfortunately…alas, very few do I know for certain were truly heaven-bound.
Less often than I should do I share my testimony or my faith with others. Less often than I should do I walk the talk as I once did. Less often than I should do I insist that Jesus really is the way, the truth and the light…and by His name and by His grace and through His blood alone are we saved and are our lives on this tainted planet even tolerable.
Once upon a time, I suppose that I had an answer for everything and in my answers, there were always still questions. The only question to answer is…”But how do you know? How do you know this is real, how do you know this is the only way? How do you know…?”
I know because I’m not who I once was. More importantly, God isn’t who I once thought Him to be. Anyone who’s ever been to a wedding has heard this passage…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8…Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 John 4:8b says “For God is love.” Then it would seem that the attributes of God would be, if you would indulge me please that…
God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.
One could argue…but what about me? Terrible things have happened to me…I’ve lost much, and I’ve mourned much, and I’ve felt unloved and I’ve seen terrible things happen to those I love and those around the world.
Yes, those things happen, but they are not because God is different, it is because the world in which we live is damaged and imperfect. God has given us free will and will not force us to love and serve Him…and so those who choose to love and serve him are folded amongst those who choose to shun and disdain him. Those who yearn to know and understand him are folded amongst those who think they know enough.
What is different for me from the God I knew as a child…is that the understanding that I have of God now is a being who yearns for me to be at peace because He sacrificed for me to be at peace. He yearns for me to be free because He bought my freedom. When I am rude, He is not. When I am selfish, He is selfless. When I am hot-tempered and easily angered, He remains constant and calm…and doesn’t remind me of all the times that I have been less than perfect. When evil things have their sites set on me, He is waiting for me to cry out for his assistance not waiting in the wings to say “I told you so”. He is my superhero, my Fort Knox…He is always on my side. Though disaster may surround me…I will be a winner because He is my father and He will grab my hand and pull me out.
When I’ve taken Him for granted, He doesn’t rub my nose in it, He doesn’t make me grovel, He simply waits for me to make the long journey back, hands me my robe, ring & Reeboks and sits down next to me for a little roast beast.
(In case that last part was confusing and you have a little time…Pastor Brady’s teachings on The Prodigal Son & The Older Son are worth a listen.)