It has been my experience that God has to drum things into my somewhat thick skull. Whenever He is attempting to teach me something new, I end up seeing the same message over and over and over and over and over and…well, I see it a lot. Until I am finally forced to say, “Well, duh, I think God is trying to teach me something here!”
Over the past few days I have been in the process of working through some relationship issues with some folks who are close to me. There have been some hurt feelings, some texts and then a series of emails back and forth between all parties. This morning as I was mulling over some of the responses in my head, I came across this verse (while searching for something completely unrelated.) “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Psalm 119:18 NIV A few seconds later I saw this post on a friend’s facebook page. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:13-14 NIV Then I started doing some looking and I found this awesome verse that I don’t ever remember reading before. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV
Recently I had some discussions with an entirely different party as to why exactly some people feel so compelled to continue to live as though the law has not been fulfilled. This morning all of this hit me – “Well, duh, I think God is trying to teach me something here!” The things that God requires of us are really quite simple. In laying out all the minuscule little parts of the law, God was pounding into each and every one of our thick skulls this point – “Love one another! Love one another! Love one another!” It is the hardest thing for us selfish, sinful human beings to do. In fact, God also made it quite clear from the start that no matter how many times and in how many different ways he told us to “Love one another!” that we would never actually be able to do it. Thus, sacrifices, up to and including the ultimate sacrifice of His very own Son were going to be necessary to save us from ourselves.
God IS love. He cannot behave in any other way. He built that attribute into us when he created us in His image. And, we promptly blew it. So, now we have this incredible need for the love of one another and this incredible inability to get that right.
So what does all of this mean to me, today? Simply this. That as this Thanksgiving holiday approaches I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people that God has brought into my life to love over the last thirty-something years. And I am so sorry for all the ways I have failed to love them correctly. And I am more thankful than I can describe for the grace of God which now and then allows us to catch a glimpse of how true love works and then even to show it to one another.
If you are someone who has personally loved me over the years – Thank you. I love you, too!