“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
~1 John 4:16
Jesus instructed us to love. But we aren’t supposed to only give love. God’s love flows like a mighty river. We are to receive it as well. For many of us, receiving love is a challenge. We push it away, afraid that we are not worthy.
It is our job to let go of our unworthiness. We do that by giving our fears to God and allowing Him to work within us. Remember, He promised that He would remove our heart of stone (our fearful heart) and replace it with a heart of flesh. He also promised us He would put His Spirit inside of us. How can God’s Spirit be unworthy of love? It can’t be!
There is no way you are unworthy of love. Learn to receive love. Let it flow through you and back out into the world, as part of the whole we all live in together, as one.
Be still, and know that I am God.
My daughter told me that she can feel the baby moving now, and invited me to experience the small little flutters.
As I placed my hands on her belly, God whispered to me, “I yearn to be known. My love projects itself into form so that it can be recognized and made real,” God said.
“And we are happy recipients of that love, grateful that you want to be known,” I thought.
My daughter looked up at me, her eyes brimming with the promise of new life growing within her. I rested my hands upon her soft belly for a moment more and said a prayer for the newest member of our family as he or she continues to grow because of God’s immense love for us, and His yearning to be known through that love.
For everything, there is a season.
“God, I’m going to be moving,” I shared as I sat in the hotel lobby, sipping a cup of morning Joe. “I’m in Sonoma, searching for a new place to call home. Would you please help me?”
“Of course, Sparrow,” God answered me. “What do you need from me?”
“I need to rely on you for discerning the best place to rent,” I replied.
“You’ll know when the right place appears,” God said. “Be open. Be patient. Trust that I’m hard at work aligning everything so that it all works out.”
“Thank you, God. I knew I could count on you for help.” I looked out the window onto the unfolding day. Happy strangers walked by, smiling and laughing. I sensed the energy of the town square, alive with possibility. I felt God’s gentle hand moving among us all, connecting us with His love.
I silently gave thanks for the past year of living in the wilderness where I grew closer to God. And I gave thanks for the new chapter ahead. “I’m going to love it here,” I whispered, and took another sip of coffee.
The desk clerk looked over at me and smiled. “Ah, there you are, God,” I said, “I see you in her. I’ll see you in everyone here.” I picked up the listing of rentals and made my way to my car, towards the start of a new season.
My grace is sufficient for you.
~2 Corinthians 12:9
A gentle rain fell as the day broke free from the night’s darkness. I curled up by the fire and sipped my coffee, pondering the hours ahead. “God, I’ve got to attend an event today that is emotionally challenging. I’m anxious about it,” I said.
“What exactly makes you anxious?” God asked softly.
“I’m afraid people will talk about me behind their backs. That they will put me down. I’m afraid some people there don’t like me,” I said truthfully.
“Sounds like you’re trying to protect your ego,” God answered.
“That’s true. I am.”
“Do you remember how Jesus coped with people’s negative opinion of Him?” God asked me. “He didn’t let other’s opinions disturb Him because He didn’t forget who He was,” God explained. “I’ll be with you. If you get overwhelmed, reach out for my hand,” God whispered. “I’ll remind you that you are mine! Go, enjoy yourself, and let your light shine!”
I smiled at the thought of God and I walking into the event holding hands, His love burning bright inside of me. I looked out the window and the clouds were scattering, leaving in their wake the soft hints of a blue sky. “I’ll go and forget about my ego. I’ll go and be a living conduit of your love.”
“Atta girl, Sparrow,” God said and gave me a quick hug.
Were not our hearts burning within us?
The sun lifted her face above the horizon, casting a golden glow across the meadow. I pulled on my coat and went out to greet the new day and to pray. “God, I get discouraged sometimes. Life can get so chaotic, filled with negativity,” I said.
“Keep your eyes on me,” God answered. “Recognize me in everything and you’ll rise above the chaos and confusion.”
“But I can’t always see you,” I confessed.
“Your stories blind you,” God said gently. He rested His hand upon my shoulder. “Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They couldn’t recognize Jesus because they were stuck in their story of His demise, unable to see who was standing right in front of them!”
“But deep inside, they knew Him, even if they couldn’t see it was Him, couldn’t they?” I asked.
“Yes, their hearts burned for Him,” God replied.
“I’ll remember that this burning in my heart is evidence that you are always here and I’ll do my best to let go of my negative stories so that I can see you in everything.”
A finch in the pear tree began to sing, filling my heart with joy. “I hear you and I see you this morning, God,” I said, as the bird and its song fanned the flames in my heart.
God pulled me to Him in a warm embrace. We stood there together and watched and listened as His world up.