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!