Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Experiencing God's Love

We hear people talk of God's love all the time, but probably don't think about it too much. Then the other day I was at a seminar, where the speaker talked about a class that Bishop Desmond Tutu was going to teach; the class was to be on God's love. As the class gathered, Tutu had no syllabus for the class. This concerned the students; how would they know what was required of them? Tutu preceded to tell them that there were no tests, quizzes or assignments. In the end, the class was to be about them sharing stories of where they had experienced God's love. Tutu's reasoning was that we can't share God's love until we understand how God has loved us.
As I thought about this question (Where have I experienced God's love?), I found it difficult at first to come up with an answer. I knew that I had experienced God's love, but couldn't come up with specifics. So I started to think more about how God has expressed His love to me. As I thought about this, I realized that I needed to define how God's love comes into the world, and into my life.
Here are a couple examples:
The first is how I met my wife. When I was in my early twenties, all of my friends were getting married. I very much wanted to be married and have kids, but couldn't seem to find the person God had for me. When I was 28 and very committed to my ministry, I told God that if I never got married, then I would dedicate myself to ministry. At this point, I stopped worrying about being married. Soon after, I met a woman named Tami, who is now my wife. God has blessed me with a wonderful woman, who is the right person for me.
The second is about having our first child. As Tami and I were trying to have children, we were frustrated because Tami couldn't seem to get pregnant. We even saw a doctor, but nothing worked. After I got a pastoral job in Colorado, we had stopped worrying about getting pregnant, and sure enough Tami got pregnant after the first month of having moved.
Now I'm not trying to say that just because we want something God will give it to us. But in my life, these are two examples where I have given something over to God, stopped worrying, and in time God has blessed me with a wife and 2 children. As I reflect on these events, I realize that God's love is shown in His wanting what is good and best for me, but in the time that it is good and best.
How about you, where have you experienced God's love? I would love to hear your stories!


Mary Uht said...

The time that comes to mind of knowing God's love happened last summer. At the time I was a section manager in a busy public service office, and had just finished a week full of employee drama and a few missed deadlines. That Saturday I decided to go to a park with my pen, my journal, and my Bible, and spend some time with God. My plan was to re-hash the events. I suppose I wanted to see what I could have done differently and come up with a strategy for the following week.

Shortly after I got settled at the park I saw a gray dove walking on the lawn about ten feet from me. At that moment I sensed Jesus telling me that whatever burdens I was carrying were His now, and that this moment was intended to be spent in the peace of His presence. Immediately the stress of the past week was relieved. When I arrived at the park, I was expecting tears of frustration. Instead I had tears of joy from experiencing God's love for me.

Anonymous said...

The other day my grandson was sitting down to eat. He had a little attitude and during my interaction with him, I had told him to just eat his food. He replied, " I don't want to eat the stinky food". So I had to ask him to say sorry about the food and his attitude about it. So he said sorry and I told him not to say sorry to me. So he said sorry, one by one, to all that were in the house. This happened because I kept telling him that that wasn't who he needed to say sorry to. After asking him who made/gave us the food, he didn't get it. So I finally asked him, a tad exasbirated, who do you pray to? Than he got the answer right. So he apologized to God for his comment about the food. Suddenly, in my spirit I felt/heard a very loving " you welcome". So I told Michael, God said you're welcome.

-MM, Texas

Anonymous said...

One of my most outstanding stories of knowing God's love happened many years ago. My daughter was only seven months old. She was very ill with a high fever caused by I knew not what. After taking her to the doctor's office, I was told to immediately get her to the emergency hospital. As I frantically drove I prayed silently that God would be with both of us. With Mary to let her live and with me to make the trip safely. In the process, she stopped breathing twice, but recovered her breath.
We were met by nurses and a pediatrician at the door to the hospital and she was taken away for treatment. After what seemed an eternity, the doctor came and told me that she should, with God on our side, survive. God was with us and he did allow her to survive, unscathed, to become a lovely, caring and giving, young lady and a daughter to be proud of.

I have thanked God for his love everyday since then.