There are times when we have to choose whether it is truly God we want, or if we want all of the blessings that come with knowing God. What are we after? Is it power in whatever we’re pursuing? Or is it God’s deep and unending presence? I’d like to propose that having power without God’s presence is having nothing at all, is having complete emptiness and destitution.
As those who read this blog regularly know, I recently made a huge move and life change from New York City, one of the major metropolitan areas of the world, to a small town in Northern California, predominantly known for a mega-church. I am still not sure how I knew for certain that I should move here, and quite honestly, I do not think I knew definitively at all.
God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; my arms wave like banners of praise to you (Psalms 63:1-4).
I’m not usually political. In fact, I like to compare myself to Switzerland, choosing to either take a neutral stance or remain silent. However, at this time, I know it is more important than ever to to love one another, to honor one another, including those with different views. The new president has been chosen by the people, and that president is Trump. We may not all agree with this decision, some of us may be outright angry, however, I urge us, as a body, to stand together and choose to love one another.
My friend runs over to me during worship and says, “I just want you to know he loves you and is mending your heart.” I, slightly confused and unaware replied, “Who’s he?” Not a second later, I followed the statement up by saying, “…Jesus?” My friend nodded, looking as if it was the most obvious declaration ever stated. In that moment, I turned back around to face the worship band, and started uncontrollably crying. “Me?” “You know me, Jesus?” “Not only do you know me, but you love me?”
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
I received this verse through my daily devotional a few weeks ago. I have, of course, seen the verse many times before, and simply thought, “sure, of course, that makes sense, love everyone how Jesus loves us.” I thought that was all there was, a simple statement to love others “a lot”.