Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Psalm 136: 1
As a child, I have a vague memory of being introduced to the Ten Commandments in catechism class and feeling baffled by words that I did not understand. I was probably in second grade preparing for my First Communion. I also have a slight recollection of being introduced to the two greatest commandments of all: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12: 30-31).
I know I responded something like, “Why didn’t they say so? Love God the most, and love everyone. Piece of cake!” Mmm…But is it?
I love pizza. I love to travel. I love my family. There is no doubt about it, I love God, too. But do I? How many times have I taken God for granted and forgotten to praise him for his goodness?
Somehow, my human condition doesn’t always get the magnitude of immense agape love. This is the type of deep personal unconditional love that God has for us and is the highest form of love imaginable.
I remember when our kids were young, we played the “I love you more” game. I still recall our son, then a middle schooler, walking up the hill in our backyard to catch the bus as he yelled down to me, “I love you more!”
We would repeat it until he was out of sight. One Christmas, our grown daughter gave us a mini chalkboard with the letters LUM simply printed and ready to hang.
To this day, my husband and I have adopted LUM text messages. We try to put our feelings into words: “I love you with all my heart,” or “God loves you and so do I.” We want to get it right, but sometimes, that’s the best we can do.
Growing in God’s wisdom and stature comes with intentional faith-filled habits to nourish the soul. As I become aligned with my soul, my spiritual endurance increases. I develop an attitude of gratitude and hug even tighter those I love, becoming aware that family is a gift from God. Away from the business of the world, I strive to be in the now, pray, and trust God with the outcome. I experience flashes of utter joy in moments of peace.
I have come to realize that God is life, as He breathes life into all things. At times, I even sense myself being a little more patient, a little more loving, and even maybe more forgiving. The thing is I cannot do it alone.
The good news is, I don’t have to.
Before his death, in John’s Gospel chapter 12: 44-46, Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
Just as the moon and stars govern the night sky, so does the light of Christ rule our lives. Isn’t it about time we joined him?
Come now, let’s pray.
Thank you for your gift of unconditional love and forgiveness at work in my life. For I know I am not worthy of your grace. But I do know what you said to your disciples: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16: 24-25).
Jesus, I want to follow you. Guide me, Lord, to live with intention. Encourage me to look to others with your love and mercy. Show me how to listen to your guidance spoken in the depths of my soul. As I envision each task at hand, lead me, Lord, to act when you speak. For it is my greatest desire to make you known to others in my midst. Move me to be more and more like you. Move me to love more and more like you. I ask this in your name.
Thank you, my friend, for your loving presence in my life.
Until next time…
May the Spirit of God lead you, the Word of God sustain you, and the promises of God grant you the gift of everlasting peace.
Love and blessings.
For further reflection journal what being on the receiving end of unconditional love feels like. Then ask yourself how following Christ’s light has helped you become a disciple. Next list and put into action three ways you can grow in Christ’s wisdom.
It is always an honor and privilege to walk with you in prayer. Please send your thoughts, prayer requests and praises to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This reflection was originally published in Nourish Your Soul: 7 Secrets for Women Seeking Peace.
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Sue Dick, Author of Nourish Your Soul: 7 Secrets for Women Seeking Peace
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