Posts Tagged ‘meeting God’

Jo 17Sometimes we need a gentle reminder of what life is all about, don’t we? I know I can become so focussed on what I am doing from week to week that I can easily forget the bigger picture. And that bigger picture is important because it helps me sort out my priorities in the best possible way and reminds me why I am doing what I am doing in my life. In short, it shows me my life from God’s perspective—and that always gives me much food for thought.

Last week held one of those big picture moments for me. One day, I decided to drive up to the Blue Mountains to see my lovely, older friend Joy, who is now in a nursing home. I crept into the room she shares with another older lady and found both of them sound asleep. So what to do? I did not want to wake my friend and perhaps disorientate her, so I decided to sit and wait—and reflect.

It was peaceful in that room. At one stage, a kind staff member came in and we chatted for a few moments, but apart from that, all was quiet, except for my friend’s gentle breathing and that of the other occupant. Joy looked so small and fragile and somehow defenceless as she lay there, yet she also seemed at peace. Around her in the room, her beautiful family had placed photos of themselves and pictures of the flowers Joy loves, as well as other items she can enjoy touching or looking at. As I sat there, I remembered how much she had enriched my life and the lives of so many others too, over the years. And that is the sort of richness that really counts, isn’t it—the richness of drawing others into a closer connection with God, of passing on the utterly gracious, forgiving love of God to others?

I know that, when the time comes, Joy will be filled with delight that she is finally in God’s presence, just as I believe God will be to welcome her home. She does not have great earthly riches, but her soul is so rich in God—and that richness has been shared with so many others along the way.

That very morning before leaving home, I read the following:

Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendour of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendour will not descend with him. Psalm 49:16-17

… But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 1 Timothy 6:6-7

My friend Joy, and all of us, came into the world as defenceless, little babies, bringing nothing with us except ourselves. And all of us, including Joy, will leave this world equally defenceless, through age or illness or injury, taking nothing with us except ourselves. How important it is then for us to be rich in the things of God, to know deep within ourselves that we are God’s beloved children and to be content with loving and serving God and others! That indeed is ‘great gain’—the only sort of gain that really matters, when all is said and done.

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I think I have mentioned once or twice before that we have a cute little grandson! On various occasions when I have been minding him, he has been quite happy with me—until he sees his mother or father arrive. Then a sudden transformation seems to occur. A delighted grin spreads across his face, his eyes sparkle and he quickly heads for whichever parent it is as fast as his little legs will go. He then proceeds to sit in his mother’s or father’s arms with an extremely satisfied look, as if well pleased with himself and the world at large.

Perhaps you have grandchildren of your own who behave the same way. Or perhaps, like me, you have been to the airport to meet someone you haven’t seen for some time. At last they emerge from the customs area. Their faces light up and they quickly move towards you, eager for that hug and to hear that ‘Welcome home!’ I love watching the faces of others at the airport, too, as they wait to greet family members and friends. Even though they are strangers to me, it is a delight to see their faces light up with joy when their loved one appears.

I love to think of God’s face lighting up like that for me whenever I seek to spend time reading my Bible or just being quiet in God’s presence. I know God is everywhere and always sees us, but when I consciously make time to do this, I believe God welcomes me with joy and delight. After all, God loves me and I love God—so why wouldn’t both of us to rejoice?

This week, I came across another of my favourite verses from Psalms. Psalm 44 begins with the psalmist declaring how they heard from their forefathers what God has done for them in the past, driving out the nations before them. Then in verse 3, we read:

It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.

How much the light of God’s face must have meant to the children of Israel as it shone upon them in love all those years ago! And how privileged we are to know that same love of God in our own lives today through Jesus Christ! On occasions in the media, we hear some comment such as ‘the gods must be smiling on us’, when the weather is good or some event has gone well or some fortunate thing has occurred. But we can each know the one true God, whose face is always turned towards us in love and whose light shines upon us continually because of Jesus Christ.

I remember when I first came to understand this amazing love of God and how the face of the speaker I was listening to at the time truly shone with the light and love and joy of the Lord. It was like a special switch had been turned on inside him—and I wanted that, too. So this year, may the light and love of the Lord shine through my face and yours, as we reach out to a needy world. May we be fully switched on inside by God’s love, ready to shine that light through everything we do!

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