What does God want of us? Does He want us? Where does He want us; this nice house in Bexhill, or the house in Old Town (both houses are still up for sale with no prospective buyers)……. or somewhere else entirely…….Somerset…….the Highlands??
I have been comforted this week by the contrast between my fickleness and roller-coaster emotions and Father God’s rock-solid steadfastness and His commitment to love me. It started when I re-read a quote from John Ortberg “My desire for God ebbs and flows, but His desire for me is constant.” And then in my regular Bible portion from Matthew 22:37-39, I read Jesus’s very familiar, what we call, “Great Commandment”, where He told us to love God with absolutely everything we can muster, and love our neighbour as ourselves. And I realised that the Greek verb for love in both cases is not phileo which expresses friendly affection, or eros which expresses erotic, passionate or sexual love, or any other sort of brotherly or family love, but agape love – the commitment of serving, sacrificial love that is directed by the will. I realised that this is the sort of love God commands from us, and is the committed way He loves us. As the days went on I felt more and more secure in His love, as I pondered on the sort of yo-yo, up and down, unstable love we bring to so many of our relationships, which can feel so unsafe – and which we put onto Him. So when we tamper with His absolutes, or are economical with the truth, or pout when we don’t get our way and behave badly, or are deliberately mean, or a million other things, we cannot believe His love for us remains constant – we act as though He loves like we do, playing withdrawing games, punishing, going cold.
So I’ve been revelling in His commitment to me; in His unfluctuating and oh-so-safe love, that keeps steady come what may, and will do so forever; in those faithful arms which have stilled out most of my fears and uncertainties about the future and what might lie ahead. I’ll end with a modern-day psalm by Max Lucado, which I have been saying out loud every day for a couple of months, and which has so helped me accept His timing. Maybe it might help if you’re battling with that too!
You are a great God.
Your character is holy.
Your truth is absolute.
Your strength is unending.
Your discipline is fair…….
Your provisions are abundant for our needs.
Your light is adequate for our path.
Your grace is sufficient for our sins…….
You are never early, never late…….
You sent your Son in the fullness of time and will return at the
consummation of time.
Your plan is perfect.
Bewildering. Puzzling. Troubling.
Max Lucado – from “He Reminded us of You”