I’m a lot like you or any other Christian. We get up each day and do a lot of things. Good things. We eat, work, study, exercise (hopefully), love, fellowship with other believers … but most of the time forgetting the faithful God who is watching over us at every point, every day.
It amazes me when I stop to reflect on our God, who He is and what He does. Here are some things I sometimes take for granted.
* Our God is awesome. He causes the sun to rise every morning; the gravity to keep me on the earth; the ozone to filter out harmful UV rays. In fact, one biblical writer said that Jesus sustains the entire universe “by His powerful Word” (Heb. 1:2-3, NIV).
* Our God is everywhere. I have traveled to a number of nations and have yet to find anyone who says, “God is not here.” As King David in the Old Testament wrote: “If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there … even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast” (Ps. 139:8-10, NIV).
* Our God is merciful. When I was 20, I thought of myself as a bit of a road-racer in my lowered, Corvette-orange, Datsun 510 sedan. Whipping around the hills of Portland, Ore., one afternoon after a rain, I went into a corner too fast, overcorrected and felt the back of my car swing out over nothing. Somehow my front tires caught on the shoulder of the road, while the rear of the car slammed down its wheels onto a steep embankment. I exited my car and climbed up to the street completely unhurt. The car was scratch-free.
God was merciful to me that day—and every day. How about you? Mercy might be defined as “not getting what we deserve.” How willing is our God to be merciful? Here’s how the prophet Jeremiah put it: “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lam. 3:22-23, NLT).
* Our God is loving. I think of myself as a nice person. But my boundaries have been severely tested by enemies, friends and even family. Sound familiar? I remember being so upset at an extended family member (at a Foursquare convention, no less) that I was about to lose it. I sought out a nearby brother who had observed the incident and said, essentially, “Isn’t he a jerk for treating me like that?”
He replied, “Why don’t you just pray for him? That’s the loving thing to do.” The nerve of this guy! Giving me practical, biblical advice when I wanted someone to affirm my hurt!
Here is how similarly the apostle John would have advised me if he had been there: “My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love-so you can’t know Him if you don’t love” (1 John 4:7-8, The Message).
I am thankful for a God like ours, the only true God, who alone is awesome, everywhere, merciful and loving. I hope the next time you encounter Him in one of these ways, you will look up and thank Him, not taking Him for granted, because “He is most careful with you” (1 Peter 5:7, The Message).