Finding The Right Words
I’ve been trying to find the right words, my friends. To make everything make sense. To try to bring healing and reconciliation to our hearts, our homes, and our sorely divided nation.
I’ve been praying for the right words to speak hope and life into a situation in which many of us only see doubt and darkness.
But it came to me just now — Jesus has already spoken the right words. We don’t have to go very far to find them. He said “It is finished.” He said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.”
When he said it is finished in John 19:30, he meant all of it. All the hurt, all the sin, all the struggle and pain. It is finished. We don’t see it because we are trapped within the confines of time. Lucky for us, God is not. He didn’t say we wouldn’t face troubled times, temptations or tribulation — but he gave us this stalwart reminder that it is ultimately finished. He’s taken care of everything, and we can face each day knowing that God is with us, he cares for us and he is fighting our battles. More importantly, we know that he triumphs.
He told us in Matthew 22:38 to love God with all the love we can muster. In our hearts, minds and in our very souls. Love him beyond all measure — love him with the fibers of our beings. Even in times of darkness, when the going gets tough. Even in times of scarcity and uncertainty. We must cling to the Lord in these harsh, unyielding times — no matter what our fears might tell us.
But also, Jesus reminded us in verse 39, likening it to the command to love God, that we must love our neighbors as well. We must love one another with a fierce, bolstering kind of love that is an extension of our love of God. If we are over flowing in the love we have for God and the love we receive from God, it is only natural that love would then flow out into our actions and words toward our neighbors.
That is why we must love God first.
I was struggling so much to try to find something adequate to say — when really, everything we need to know has been said. It is finished. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and all your soul. And love your neighbor as yourself. These simple principles seem easy enough … but even in times of ease and plenty, they can be hard to accomplish. How much more difficult, then, will it be during these times of harsh uncertainty?
We cannot change our immediate circumstances. We cannot change the minds of those focused on violence and destruction. However, we can change our focus and we can change our reactions. Let us focus on these principles — let us open our hearts to the Lord and to our neighbors, and remember that someone much greater than our troubles and trials is in control.
Let us also remember, in these turbulent times, that it was also said we should “pray without ceasing.” If ever there was a time to pray — I believe the time is now.
Be blessed my friends, and I pray that these words Jesus spoke will be constant companions of hope to you in the coming days.