God's word in today's world

Love, favour and tears


Do you sometimes wonder why God loves you specifically? You, with all your sin? You, with all the things you do and do not do that are against God’s will?

Often when I look at my life, I am amazed when I see all the places where I lost the way. I’m ashamed about the poor choices I’ve made. I’m ashamed about the things I’ve said and done that do not suit a child of God at all. I hang my head at the lost chances to really act on God’s calling for my life.

But every time I’ve turned back and kneeled before God to confess my sin, He faithfully picked me up again. Every time He took that load of sin from me and hung it on Jesus’ cross. Then, softly He put his hand on my shoulder and said: My boy, I forgive every sin that you admit and confess. I forgive every time that you ignored opportunities to help others. You are forgiven …

Astonished, I would look up at Him and ask: “Father, how do You do it? I am such a disappointment to You. Shouldn’t You have spit me out long ago?” With these questions on my lips, the answer is provided in these verses: 16-17May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.

I cannot comprehend it. I cannot grasp the love that God has for us. It is so much bigger than we as human beings could ever understand. God and Jesus’ love flows over us and nothing and nobody can stop it. And that is why sometimes we should stop and allow ourselves to be amazed at the goodness of God and Jesus that keeps going on and on and on.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that we will never bear hardship and hurt. Remember, we are part of the sinful world and things happen. I drive down the main road in Somerset West to go and pick up my son’s passport. It’s raining and the road is slippery. An older woman with an unfamiliar registration number arrives at the intersection from the left. She is in a hurry and does not notice the stop sign. She doesn’t stop. I brake and feel the ABS letting go and catching under my feet.

That was close. My heart is beating in my throat. That could easily have turned out differently. So easily hardship and hurt could’ve touched us.

Other times we cannot escape it. Like when my sister’s son woke up with four guys standing by his bed and shouting at him to get the money. In the ensuing struggle he is hit against the head with a pole. Due to a fractured skull, he has to spend seven days in ICU.

When God’s children hurt and suffer, when the world knocks them down, God’s heart is filled with pain. In a way of speaking, God cries when we suffer. That is what love does. But He does more. He reaches out to us: 16… our Father, who reached out in love …

God comforts us and He helps through the hurt and pain. He does not get tired. He does it again and again.

Maybe we must reflect on how privileged we are. We must count our blessings one by one. We must realise how God showers us with love again and again. We must see how God’s favour flows over us. Maybe we must simply sit down and allow God to wipe our tears.

Scripture

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Reflection

What does God’s love do to you?

Where do you experience God’s favour?

Do you give God a chance to wipe your tears when you’re hurt?

Prayer

Father, thank you for all the love You shower on us. Thank you for Your favour. Thank you for being and remaining involved. Thank you for drying my tears. Amen.

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