Loving God Isn’t Easy!

As promised part two of the valentines post. Sometimes loving God, is sometimes a lot harder than it looks and takes more effort than the sunday service!

I once asked the Rev Paul Jinadu, after he got off the stage having just leading the morning Bible study at Spring Harvest some years ago when I was a teenager. Why it was that God and I felt distant from each other. He responded with the question, did I have a girlfriend! Which in retrospect was perhaps a strange question!

I at the time happened to be madly in love with somebody, who I can’t for the life of me now remember the name off!  Paul followed up his earlier question with, what do you do with her! I said something along the lines of ‘well we hang out and talk and stuff’. Then he asked me if I loved God, I answered with an emphatic yes. Then came the sideswipe, he challenged me to think of my walk with Jesus similar to that of my relationship with the girl. That Just as we had a to and fro conversations and hung out with her I should also hang out with Jesus the same. The challenge of that conversation has never left me and the graciousness of Paul to give his time up for me and the razor sharpness of his wisdom, has been an enduring blessing over the many years since.

But life is busy, frantic and hectic it is hard to spend time, quality time, with those whom you love. The rate of marriage break-ups and relationships crumbling is testimony to that. Perhaps even the rate at which our churches are emptying is yet another example of people falling out with God! A God people sometimes fail to understand, perhaps because they have not spent enough time getting to know him.

Moreover there are those of us who after many years of faithful service, just walk away from God. Because somewhere along the way we lost our faith in God, a God that looks like the church at its worst, and appears to be absent from the world when it is at its most depraved a God who allows the atrocity, brokenness, and evil to prevail. That no matter how hard we try, good just doesn’t seem to win. For those of us that feel and have felt that way we need some kind of intervention.

As Relate works with couples, we need something similar to work between humanity and God to mend broken bridges, to heal the deep wounds, that love might blossom once more, could that be the church at its best, truly emulating its Christo-centric heart, or Jesus centredness. Of course the love between God and humanity is not like Romance, it’s something more and deeper, sustaining and liberating, forgiving and healing. I need to know God loves me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, without which I am simply lost.

Let us perhaps use this valentines season, short though it is. To recommit ourselves to our relationship with God, who through Jesus can mend bridges, heal deep wounds, and is the image and example of forgiveness and true love.

Finally 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is that classic passage about love, I have used to dozens of times in weddings, but I find its definition of love falls short of human relationships and perhaps could be rewritten in this way. God is patient; God is kind; God is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. He is not irritable or resentful; He does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Gods love never ends.

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