Spiritual Growth: God’s Love for Us
I have mentioned Max Lucado several times in other postings. I continue to say that he is my favourite spiritual author and is a daily companion for me through his writings. This morning I was carrying my meditation books out to the screened room where I spend my morning quiet time. Max Lucado’s book Grace For The Moment fell to the floor and opened at the page for November 30 which carried this topic: “Ponder the Love of God”.
It seemed like a good thing to ponder in my quiet time. To help you set the scene in your head and your heart I’ll give you the rest of the page. The Bible verse was Ephesians 3:18 – “I pray that you …. will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love – how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is.” Lucado’s comments that followed were: “There is no way our little minds can comprehend the love of God. But that didn’t keep Him from coming…… From the cradle in Bethlehem to the cross in Jerusalem we’ve pondered the love of our Father. What can you say to that kind of emotion? Upon learning that God would rather die than live without you, how do you react? How can you begin to explain such passion?”
Ephesians reminded me of a CREDO Team Retreat that I attended several years ago in a 14th century monastery on the side of a hill just south of Rome, Italy. The monastery was named after Saint Sosio. Set in rich green woodland it was soaked in spirituality. During one of the sessions the Chaplain who was leading the retreat posed this question to us: “What word comes to mind when you think of God?” A litany of adjectives such as “awesome”, “wondrous”, “mighty”, “compassionate”, “majestic” were pronounced. But the only word that would come to my mind was “huge”. In my nightly gratitude journal I faithfully open each entry with “My HUGE God”.
I then remembered a Club Beyond youth retreat that I helped to chaperone in another location in Italy. It was not quite as “spiritually soaked” as San Sosio but it was very beautiful and certainly spiritual enough for the odd band of teens that we accompanied there! A guest speaker had been arranged for Saturday evening (I do not remember his name), but his words have remained indelibly printed on my heart. I believe he was referring to something that the author Brennan Manning wrote when he challenged all the teens to take into their hearts the fact that “God was madly, passionately in love with them”.
Isn’t that what Lucado is talking about too? I have several of the pages in Grace For The Moment with the corners turned down. Most of them refer to God’s love for us. In his comments on March 10 he writes: “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning…….. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart…. Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you.” This is just what that Saturday night speaker was talking about too.
And on February 18 under the theme “God Cares About You”, here is what Lucado writes. “Consider the earth! As you stand .. observing God’s workshop, let me pose a few questions. If He is able to place the stars In their sockets and suspend the sky like a curtain, do you think it is remotely possible that God is able to guide your life? If your God is mighty enough to ignite the sun, could it be that He is mighty enough to light your path? If He cares enough about the planet Saturn to give it rings or Venus to make it sparkle, is there an outside chance that He cares enough about you to meet your needs?”
When I look at my life and see the miracles that God has wrought there once I became willing to allow Him into my life, I am sometimes totally overcome. When I think of the dark hole that I used to exist in (I cannot say “live in”), and I know the light and the joy that fill my life today, I know that God loves me passionately. I know that He is crazy about me and that He truly cares about me.