On a recent Macek Maverick call, one of those bimonthly family connections by phone, my oldest brother posed this question, “What do you wish you’d learned to do earlier in life?”
“I wished I’d learned early on, to be more willing to receive God’s love,” was my response.
Not of This World
Starting out as a kid, adults seemed trustworthy enough to me. No one meant me any harm and of course, I sensed my dad’s affection for me as the most genuine love. But then his suicide put the kibash on what I’d interpreted as love. After that event, my heart became confused and a little suspicious of adults and what they meant when they said, “I love you.”
I had to ask myself, if he’d really loved me, would he have opted out of life as he’d had?
Mom used that little phrase, “I love you,” often. Then once, out of anger, she said to me, “I hate you, Terese.” Those four words spoken that one time reinforced my confusion and suspicion surrounding anyone’s fond and caring affection toward me.
When I married my husband, it took several years for me to trust his sincere intentions. But with time and consistency, I’ve found him to be loyal and his fondness for me extremely reliable, not perfect of course, but very dependable.
From all of those experiences, I formed a perspective of what love was all about which left me hopeful, a little more receptive, but still at times, a little hesitant. I carried this outlook of love with me into my relationship with God. And bit by bit, he is showing me the difference between human love and divine love.
First of all, God’s love for us is a splendid thing. God does not force himself into any kind of relationship. Instead, he waits for us to respond to his constant company. His love for us is honest, truthful and for our benefit. This kind of love always motivates toward doing something good and not evil, toward kindness and never brutality.
Like the soft caressing hand of a mother wiping tears from their child’s face, God’s love is calming, comforting and present. This kind of love does not invoke fear of any sort. Instead, it somehow lets us rest with ease.
God’s fond affection for us pulls us into a relationship which we can’t help but continue with because his love is so right for us. Yep, if I’d given into this kind of love sooner, my life would have been a wee bit less tumultuous.
Why bother being receptive to true love? Though we may miss it for a season, it is never too late to be receptive to true love. God is patient enough to wait.