When I get an opportunity to share at a Christian gathering, my favorite subject to speak about is the love of God. It just feels so important to me. It is not that I have not understood the truth that God loves me for the fifty years that I have been a Christian, it’s simply that I have come to embrace this as the most important truth for my growth as a Christian.
Not that there have not been times I have questioned the Father’s love for me. When my son drowned I had lots of questions. It made no sense to me that I was loved by the most powerful, loving, compassionate, caring, almighty God – and yet my son drowned. It was not even lack of faith on my part. I had been praying regularly for my son. I even prayed that God would raise him back to life for me. When we scattered his ashes in Stanley Park, Vancouver, that ended for me. Once the ashes were gone I gave up the hope God would raise Nathan back to life.
Even now, several years later, with further revelations of the love of God for me, I cannot answer what seems still to be so wrong with Nathan’s life and death. But that is not going to stop me believing that I am loved, deeply loved, incredibly loved, by the creator of the universe, by the Almighty God Himself.
Nathan’s death is not the only situation that has caused me to question God’s love for me. I do not have all the answers for why bad things happen to people, to good people and to not so good people. I do not understand why sometimes I seem to have some wonderful answers to prayer, and other times not so much. And yet through all of life’s ups and downs I have come to believe more and more that I am loved by God. I have to admit that a lot of that understanding has come through personal revelation. I read the Bible, I pray, and often I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to me, telling me how much I am loved. It feels so good. And I need to respond to it.
Several years ago, when the charismatic movement was starting to grow, I read stories of people asking for parking spaces in busy malls, and God miraculously providing for them. There was a lot of backlash to that. People asked why God would care about a parking space when others were dying of malnutrition, or being abused, or some other awful situation. That seemed like a reasonable question to me. And then the Holy Spirit was moving in Toronto, and other locations, and people were receiving gold fillings, whilst others were being sprinkled with gold dust. What about those who had cancer?!? Surely God should be doing the bigger things, the more important things?!? Yes, the Father was touching lives and setting people free, but gold fillings? I need to let God do his thing.
Back to believing that the Father loves me, I recognize that I need to live my life a little differently. So, when I was walking my dog the other day, and suddenly realized that I had forgotten to bring some plastic bags in order to clean up after her, I decided to ask the One who loves me so to help me. Firstly, we passed a place that Ella frequently uses to relieve herself, but fortunately she was not ready yet. Then I saw a very wet plastic bag. It would have worked, but I wanted something better, so I walked past it. And then I saw it – a small plastic bag that had obviously come from a role of doggie doo bags. I quickly picked it up, and within a few minutes I was able to make use of it! Thankyou Father.
A small thing, but important to me. Otherwise I would have had to use tissues from my pocket and carry the pooh carefully until I found a bin. But now I need to be applying the truth that I am incredibly loved by the Father to other problems that I encounter. Like not sleeping well at night because of the noise from my neighbor’s hot tub. I have been bringing this to the Father but bringing it to him from the position of his beloved daughter really helps. Somehow the noise needs to diminish, or I need to find a way to cope with it better so that it doesn’t keep me awake. I believe the Father is going to help me. And last night I had a good night. I am grateful for every victory. Praying for more. Believing for more.
I believe that I am loved by the Father, and that means he cares about what is affecting me. Praying for some miracles of healing for my family, believing that it is what the Father wants for us. We need to learn to take every problem to the Father, believing that he cares for us and wants the best for us. Believe for more because he has more for each of his children.