Right, so exam season is upon me and I thought I had decided not to write a blog post this week, however it seems that (once again) God has other plans. He spoke to me this morning and said “Tell them about my power”. Luckily for me, I enjoy writing these much more than writing essays!
Just to catch up on events quickly… I had amazing birthday, weekend and Wednesday celebrations to commemorate my introduction to legal “adulthood” and I feel very blessed by everyone who put so much effort into making it memorable! But anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about power!
The God I love, is Lord over all that exists. May it be physical, emotional, spiritual or otherwise; He is at the centre. There is no other. If you think about it, this makes it very difficult for anyone not to encounter God in their lifetime. In fact, surely this means we should constantly be in his presence – unable to miss Him? This is true. He is. And He loves you, personally, as his child. So why do we miss Him? Why do we sometimes feel like He’s a million miles away? There’s nothing more powerful than creating everything and also being at the centre of everything that exists. He can do anything! So why do people suffer? Why would God allow us to stray? Why would God allow religions to rise up? Why does the world seem like it’s crumbling and so fragile and why doesn’t He stop it all and make things right again? I’ve already given you the answer but I’m going to explain it in more depth. He loves you. But we don’t always choose to love Him – and He won’t force us. That would make us slaves. We’re not slaves. We’re His children.
Take away the physical and let’s get our abstract on. What makes loving someone special? When you love someone, you put them before you. Their needs, their life, their happiness sometimes. They can’t force you to do that for them. The only place it can come from is you. If we hold this as true, that means we all have to make the choice (based on emotions or not) to love someone. Now, for choice to exist, there needs to be more than one option. i.e. To love, to like, to be indifferent, to dislike and a whole spectrum of other choices. But to love, has to be the best, right? I mean who are the first people who come to mind when you think about pure love? Family? Friends? A significant other? What feelings do they stir? Positive ones, I would hope! However, some loves can be unrequited. A parent still loves their child, even if the child can’t stand to be around them. Some people feel stupid for loving their abusive partners, but they love them nonetheless. Love can be painful too. I wonder how God feels when it’s so evident that he loves all his children, and yet some even go out of their way to hate Him/those who love Him, or disobey Him even though they’ve “committed” their life to Him. And some just plainly don’t care whether He exists or not. Is that not the same spectrum?
For love to be so powerful in our lives, the other choices need to exist. This is one explanation for suffering. We are quick to point out the spots we think God has missed without realising all that He has already done. This is the creator of everything we are talking about! He knows everything that has been and everything to come! We have to trust that He can turn even the evillest of events into something beautiful eventually. The world could be a whole lot worse, but we wouldn’t know because -well- it isn’t… The suffering that does happen, isn’t God’s doing. It’s ours. There are many examples of God’s overflowing love in the Bible; one of the clearest examples, in His Son, Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect human life, as the living embodiment of God’s love. We can use Him to model our own behaviour. Have you ever heard the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?”? Anything that strays from Jesus’ example, is not pure love and causes harm in the world – whether it’s directly or indirectly, we meant to, or not, immediately or in the future. Everything we do has consequences. The flap of a butterfly’s wing can cause a tornado on the other side of the world. This sounds insane, but it’s well recognised in Chaos theory as ‘The Butterfly effect’ with lots of supporting evidence. Put basically, it’s the idea that small causes may have large effects.
I hear you say “But Peter! It’s impossible to monitor everything we do! I’m a good person, isn’t that enough?”. And the answer is actually no, it’s not enough, BUT you are correct; it’s impossible to be as perfect in love as God. THAT’S WHY WE NEED HIM! It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at life, HE LOVES YOU! His arms are always open wide waiting for you to turn back around and run into them. We are all sinners and we always will be, without Jesus. But the work is finished. He came to save us and now all we have to do is receive His love. This isn’t a one-time event. In every moment, if we accept who we are, and what has been done for us, we are free from our wrongdoings and are enabled to love like Jesus did. We become ‘one’ in Christ.
We all fail to do this all the time – even those of us that call ourselves ‘Christians’ (whatever that means). But once again, His arms are open. His grace still covers me. There are known ways we can become more ‘Christ-like’ though. Find a church; be amongst others looking to live a similar lifestyle. Read the Bible; hear of what God has done, is doing and will do for you. And most importantly, pray; make a friend in the creator of all things. You and others around you will notice, your life will begin to transform. It will be like you’re seeing in colour, after a lifetime of black and white. It takes practice. It takes discipline. But eventually, I promise, if you stick with it long enough, you’ll run to it like it’s free food!
So if God prevented it all, love wouldn’t be a choice anymore. Love would no longer be powerful. And love is powerful. Love is much greater than evil. Love unites people. Love can heal even the most broken of souls. Love keeps going even when we don’t. Love bypasses prejudice. Love always wins in the end.
May your eyes be opened to the love God has, waiting for you to receive.
May you see that God is already working for the good in your life, right in front of you, even if you’re suffering.
May you see that an act of love inspired by Jesus, no matter how small, can set others free and set in motion a wave of good in the world – because the Butterfly Effect works both ways!
P.S. I think this song is fitting for this post –>