“We don’t deserve our next breath or forgiveness either, but God loves to give lavish blessings.” ~ Ryan Callahan, in Focus On Love
A month after the Christmas season, it should still be fresh in our memories that God’s love came down to Earth as a baby and lived among us. And in a few months, we’ll celebrate another event where that love went to a cross, paid the penalty for us, and then defeated Death so we can accept His gift of a better, forgiven, reconciled life. After all, God so loved the world that He sent His Son.
However, it’s also true that God is Love. His very nature is to bless, provide for, guide, comfort, and fellowship with us. In fact, expressions of love here on Earth are a mere reflection of His sacrificial love to ensure a relationship with us.
So what does that relationship look like? It’s got to be more than sitting in a pew at Christmas and Easter (and even the other weekends in a year) to acknowledge His existence. Because that feels an awful lot like an annual acknowledgement of our government (i.e. Tax Day and Elections).
Like our friends and family (last week’s topic) and romantic love (coming next week), a relationship with the God of Love should be more like a series of daily encounters as we do life together.
As we wake up to a new day and see the sunrise painted across the sky in a glorious Good Morning.
As we handle the commute for school drop-offs, errands, or work and chat with our Friend about the possible challenges ahead to seek divine Wisdom.
As we enjoy a beautiful song or a colorful painting, we spot the ultimate Creator’s fingerprint moving through His Creation as they in turn create.
As we sit down to a meal provided through His blessing of employable talents that earned the money to buy the food that grew thanks to the sun and rain God sent.
As we pull our foot out of our mouth and regret our stupidity, only to find forgiveness waiting.
The Bible talks of praying without ceasing. Of course, as a writer, I have a vivid imagination and knew I could never spend an entire day mumbling repetitious prayers because I had a life to live and other people to talk to. Then I imagined my day as one long conversation that might be interrupted by the kids or a phone call or a job…but could still be picked up in an instant right where I left off until I laid my head on the pillow at night to whisper an Amen-until-tomorrow goodbye.
Daily encounters with the God of Love who–if you’re looking–shows up everywhere you turn around.
Thanks to Ryan, Liz discovers that a relationship with the God of Love should be like walking through life with a friend instead of a list of rules from a ruthless dictator. Her eyes are opened to the beauty around her and she comes to appreciate the sacrifices Ryan makes for his family as a mere reflection of those made by God for all of us. (In Focus On Love, Liz’s faith journey is just one of the many facets of love she embraces. Pre-order your copy today.)
What about you? How often do you encounter God in your day? Can you quickly list ten places or ordinary events where you see His fingerprints? When you focus on love, is God’s love near the top of the list?