Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Loved, I Am Loved, I Am Loved

I think we fail and struggle and make ourselves sad and sick because of one simple thing:

We don't really believe God loves us.

No, instead, our aim is to earn God's love... to earn those gold stars so that God can look at our Life's Chore Chart and smile. And love us again the way He did the last time we were good.

And then when we are bad, we feel bad. All day long. As though paying for our sins with our rotten feelings, forgetting that Jesus already paid. And He wants us to move on, to mature... and to love being loved by Him. But how sad when our guilt makes us run, embarrassed, from our only Source of true help.

But if we don't understand that--know that at our very heart level--we put ourselves under the law of the Life's Chore Chart and we put everyone else there, too. We make ourselves try harder, we make our relatives and church friends try harder, too, and only if we're all following the rules and being good and acting just right, well, only then can we be happy and feel good about ourselves and God.

Except that oh so very seldom does Life line-up like that. Out of thousands of days and one long life, so rare is the day when everyone is good. But still we struggle anyway.

And if all that struggle doesn't make us quit this 'Christian' life altogether, we, instead, just try harder to earn God's love. We go to school or conventions or extra hours at church or read more books or listen to more preachers--to learn more ways of trying to make God pleased with that He will love us more.

And we give, give, give to more and more needy people until we have absolutely nothing left to give. We're not empty of self, but empty of things which come only from Love.

And in those black moments where we fear we've failed God and everyone else for years, we feel like dying. Like skipping all this misery which has become Life and moving, instead, straight into Heaven. And all happiness becomes pushed into that future place.

All because we could not simply accept that God loved us right now, right in this one imperfect moment. And in the next one, too. And the one next Tuesday.

I guess that's all on my mind because I've seen this happen to many people on the long path behind me. I am watching it happen now to two sweet old friends, Christians for 30 years,, but I am praying. You cannot force anyone to bask in God's unconditional, daily love, but I so wish you could.

I hope you will not let this happen to you. I hope you awaken every morning knowing, with no doubts, that God loves you right now. That He is Love.

But if you don't know that kind of love, may you accept it beginning today. Deal with it beginning today. And celebrate it... always.

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