Apr. 21, 2016

Harmony

To me, the test of true love is to hear the words, “I disagree” and remain loving and accepting regardless of our differences.

Love in harmonious times is easy. It’s during those dark days and confrontational hours that we test our ability to love someone for who they are and not who we want them to be.

It isn’t just love between husband and wife, but includes the love between friends and, in all honesty, it includes our relationship (or lack thereof) with God.

Marriage is tested when the good feelings wear off and the contentment goes away.  Friendships are fractured when trust is demolished and love severed. Our spiritual growth and spiritual life are threatened when we decide God doesn’t care, doesn’t love us, doesn’t know what He is doing or He is just plain mean.

The Bible begins with the words, “In the beginning, God created....” A portion of its ending words cry out, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” Its final words encourage us closing with “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” What occurs in between the first and the last tests our faith and builds our spirits. To not believe the very first words uttered, “In the beginning, God created…” challenges us to the spiritual core of our existence. If we do not believe He did or He was, how will we trust that He will?

Marriages, churches, friendships, families, the workplace, our country, and our world are facing some of the toughest times seen by mankind. Could it be God is testing us? Could it be that God understands that life requires tests in order to stretch our faith and as a way to challenge our beliefs? Sometimes He (and we) can discover our true self – the one God created – only when we are willing to examine what we believe and why we believe it.

We are God’s masterpiece. He sees us in a backdrop of strength knowing and understanding how fragile life can be for us. He observes and sees various colors; some soft, some bright, and some bold. He sees recognizable shapes despite their imperfections. He sees beauty. He sees every one of us and loves us deeply. How do I know this is true? I’ve lived it for 57 years.

When we allow Him into our lives, our hearts, and our minds, we find acceptance and grace. When we are able to know ourselves and love ourselves through God’s eyes, we suddenly find our differences with others to be minor and our love for others to be major.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

*The original artwork entitled, “Harmony” is copyrighted along with this blog.