For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I was praying the other day for my friend “Brian”, hoping for him to not be upset with God, or rail against Him, or anything like that due to the recent death of his beloved wife (okay, I confess, I was worried that he might have that reaction. I know it’s silly to worry about that, as it may not even be a thing, and even if it were, there wasn’t anything I could do about it...other than pray). It got me thinking about the writers of some of the comments I have read on Christian blogs, comments that are a vitriolic cocktail of rage, condescension, and pain. It hurt my heart to think of His heart hurting at the intensity of the feeling behind them (in hindsight, I’m now wondering if I attribute too much to the pain of the words, given that He knows if that person will accept Him later—that is, later of us, at the same time for Him—okay, now I’m getting myself in too deep in these theological waters. *waves hands, looking for Jesus, her lifeguard Who walks on water*)
My mind wandered from mulling over His hurt over the comments to the time in my life when I turned my back on Him. I know I’ve shared some of this in my sermonette and testimony, but for those who don’t know or recall, here it is, in a nutshell: got married at the tender young age of 18 to a young man who became addicted to drugs and who was verbally and (a little) physically abusive. I begged and pleaded for Him to change my husband but nothing changed. After a while, I gave up hope, helpless to do anything to change my situation, but darned sure I wasn’t going to set myself up for disappointment any longer by praying to someone who did not answer my prayers.
Thankfully, I got out of the relationship (I fled) and even more thankfully, He called me back to Himself, a place I’ve not left since 1995. Actually, the truth is this: I never really left Him—I may have let go of His hand, but He never let go of mine. I may have turned my back on Him, but I never left His presence, and His presence never left me. I was never alone, despite my petulant behavior.
Dear ones, our heavenly Father loves us. He sent His son to endure the punishment and judgment that was ours to have experienced. We have all sinned, Paul tells us, and fall short of the glory of God. Yet He loves us with a love unimaginable. As our lives progress in the Spirit, we dance this exquisite waltz of maturity and setback, growth and stumble, two steps forward and one step back, led deftly by the One Who died at Calvary.
- For those who are persecuted and victimized
- For those on our prayer list, as well as for those who aren’t but should be
- For protection for those under attack from the enemy
- Praise for the fellowship we enjoy together
- For us to know and be obedient to His will
Friends, the scripture reference above is from one of my favorite books of the Bible, Romans 8. I find enlightenment, promise, comfort, hope, and His sweet and awe-inspiring love in the verses of this chapter, and I can attest to its impact in my life. I’m hopeful you can feel what I’m talking about when you read it!
“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” – Francis Chan
“In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to its beauty. Consider this when you feel broken.”