Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Story Matters - Live Oak Value #8

The "Story" is the story of God's love for us. It is a story complete with longing, adventure, shattered hopes, redemption, and romance. It is a story of how completely and wonderfully God loves us and how much he wants to be in a relationship with us.

This story starts with God creating the universe and then creating us in his image so that we would have the ability to be in relationship with him. God wanted us to know him from the very beginning of time - just as a mother desires to know the child she is carrying long before the baby is born. Once created, God pursues us, just as a parent chases after a child that is not yet capable of understanding the strength of the love that binds him/her to his parent.

The story of human interaction with God as told in the Bible matters because it teaches us that we are never too horrible and never too far away from God that he cannot love and find us. In fact, when we do terrible things and run away from God, the Bible tells us that God actively searches for us and desires to win us back to him. This story is the model for our lives as parents, friends, children, spouses, and workers. It tells us that there is always room for love and forgiveness in the midst of a life and world full of pain and transgressions.

I realized this morning in a conversation with my son that he didn't quite understand this idea. He was telling me that good people who don't do bad things get to go to heaven and people who do bad things don't. (A very just and rational line of human thought that many of us believe to be true by the way.) It was hard for him to understand when I told him that everyone does bad things and God still loves all of us. We don't win God's love, it is freely given to us along with forgiveness because of God's love for us. There is no perfect human in "the" story except for Jesus Christ. The rest of us have to be reminded that the Bible is important because it tells us the truth: not one of us will get it right, but God loves us and wants to be with us, anyway.

CS

"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.... It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them....My people are determined to turn from me...."How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?...My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused." - Hosea 11: 1-8 (selected)

2 comments:

Maggie August 17, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

Loved this one - especially the in the context of parenting. It makes have such gratitude for God's constant love and steadfastness and humbles me thinking about my own state of love mixed with frustration toward my own kids. I have a teenage girl, do I need to elaborate? :) And although I may not want to be with her in the moment when things are heated, I always desire and work toward a relationship with her. And I am immensely grateful God still desires a relationship with me during those times I give him exactly what my teen daughter gives to me.

Chesney August 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

Amen, sister! :)