Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Greatest Mystery of the Universe

Psalms 8:3-4
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"

Lately my head has been dwelling on this simple yet profound truth...

To me, the greatest mystery of the universe is not how it began, but how it relates to us. How could the Creator of the Universe love me? To me, this fact alone may be the reason many people don't accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. It's just too hard to understand, and defies human logic.

How could a perfect, Almighty God care about rebellious, unrepentant, irreverent sinners? Why would He? I've heard this thought before, but it's struck me lately, how great a mystery this is. I guess I've always just thought, "but He does, and I'm going to be grateful." But have you ever really thought about it?! Why didn't He wipe out Mankind the day Adam and Eve fell? Or why did He bother saving Noah when He flooded the Earth? He knew we would always be rejecting Him. He knew even His people would betray Him, spit in His face, have Him killed. Why bother? When You have all the strength in the universe, why let these little peons cause You such great pain?!

While we may not have any answers from Scripture, we know that this is a fact. He does love us. He does care. He doesn't delight in the death of the wicked, but longs that all should come to repentance. He is love. He is the very definition of it, and while He doesn't do things exactly as we'd have Him to, and He allows suffering, He's never done anything that wasn't from a motive of love (even in anger, which also amazes me).

But as I was contemplating this, a mighty God caring for broken men, it occurred to me that He has given us a glimpse of why. [Please note these are only my thoughts, not anything I know of in the Bible] Maybe there's a piece to this puzzle found in parenthood. One of the lesser mysteries of the universe is the love a parent has for a child. How is it that a woman can so quickly forget the intense pain of childbirth the moment her baby is laid in her arms? How is it that selfish men and women will show such great unselfish dedication to a child that doesn't understand why, doesn't truly appreciate or respect them, who even sometimes treats them with contempt and anger instead of love and honor...simply because this is their child? It's truly something you cannot understand until you experience it yourself. As a parent, you possess an instinctive love for the child you had a part in creating. But where'd the "instinct" come from? Could it be from the One who created us? Could it be that He possesses that same love for us? Would He design that instinct in us so we might have a taste of how He feels?

I definitely don't pretend to have this figured out, but there's one fact I've become more and more assured of: He loves us. Sure, it's an uplifting thought, but it's gaining more weight in my mind as I realize what a sinner I am, and what that sin does to Him. He holds the right and power to grant justice for my sin. That would be very bad news for me. Yet, He has mercy, grace and love towards me. And just as I, to a lesser degree, love my sons without condition, so He loves me. But how does that affect me; how do I respond? This is where my thoughts have been the most. Sure, it means I can trust Him to care for me no matter what trials come in my life. I can pray and know that He hears and He cares. But it also means I shouldn't take that grace lightly. If I truly get just how big of a deal this is, that He's adopted me into His family and cares for me as His child, I would do all I can to respect Him, honor Him, serve Him, obey Him, love Him! I wouldn't flippantly say, "Well, thanks for caring, even dying, for me, now I'm going to live my life for myself."

To do so would be to miss the whole point, and to miss the mystery.

Angie's New Camera

Romans 5:6-8
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Ephesians 1:4-9
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ..."

Ephesians 3:17b-19
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

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