We seem to have formed this strategy of withholding love in order to change people. Giving it to them only when we approve. A sort of positive reinforcement.
But this is not how God loves. God never withholds love in order to teach us a lesson. And God’s love is the single most powerful change agent on the planet.
Despite what we may believe, it’s not our responsibility to change someone. It’s God’s. Our only job is to communicate love and approval. And if we really want someone to change, we ought to be showering them with both.
The gospel is the good news that you are worse than you ever imagined yet God is more loving, gracious, and powerful than you could ever hope.
I think sometimes God appears to not be answering our prayers because we’re praying for far less than He thinks we deserve. We forget how powerful He is! Our ENTIRE world rests in the palm of His hand.
God specifically asks us to pray boldly. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest … Jesus the Son of God … [who] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:14-16. Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 2:9, He says that, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” Isn’t that exciting?! God has things planned for us that we couldn’t even dream up! He wants to give us these things! Therefore, listen to your heart! And don’t let your mind put limitations on your prayers! Pray with boldness.
Worrying is like a small memory glitch in which we’ve momentarily forgotten how good and powerful our God is. If we truly grasped how great He is and how deep His love for us is, we would never have any reason to worry.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”
“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?
It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.”
― Donald Miller
Truly powerful people don’t explain why they want respect. They simply don’t engage anyone who doesn’t give it to them.
Love is more powerful than any fear, stronger than any tidal wave.
Dogs are masters at forgiveness. They do it instantly, without hesitation. And they never forget. Which makes their forgiveness all the more powerful; they love us despite remembering all the times we’ve hurt them. Much like God, actually. But to take it even further, God also knows every wrong we have yet to commit against Him and He still forgives us…In fact, He already has.
People think dogs are a man’s best friend. But I think they’re more like a reflection, a tiny glimpse into the love that our True Best friend is.
The crisp, sweet smell of fall reminds me of this time last year; a uniquely sweet period of healing in my life. I am reminded that stillness, presence, and grace are all powerful tools of healing that we should routinely practice, even (and especially) if we think we don’t need to.