I am pretty sure by the title you can tell where I am going with this. I am, and have always been, a ‘straightforward’ gal. It has been my strength and my downfall, depending on the season and circumstance. But as it is a quality that I appreciate most in a friend, I will continue to grow in always being forthcoming, and open with my life. My favourite question will ever be, “What anchors your soul?” . And on Father’s Day, I cannot imagine a better reflection.
The Joy of the Father
Over the course of my life people have asked me if I am ever ‘unhappy’ or if the positivity I carry is falsified.
It alarmed me as a child, because I did not understand what they meant. I was exuding exactly what I carried within my soul: A JOY despite the circumstances surrounding me.
Though my life growing up was certainly not ‘rosy’, I still had it better than many. Circumstances are always relative, but our reaction to life’s blows are stupendously first adjusted in the ‘fragility’ of childhood.
And my mother taught me the strength in positive thought, which she gleaned from her worn Bible.
The day God’s love first impacted my heart, was a very normal day. I was sitting on the floor in one of the many places I lived and listening to a message on my little radio.
The message was simple. It spoke of an everlasting Love that I did not have to earn and that gave It’s life that I might have life to the FULLEST.
What? That sounded like something to get excited about.
I paused my ‘pretend baking’. Though I was a child, I thought on those words of Love. They were so pure and simple.
Jesus loved me. He loved ME. Why? What for? Who was He? Why would He care about what happens to me?
I had questions that I would continue to pursue answers to, and dig in books for decades, and one Book in particular.
But the message that day latched an anchor of JOY to my very soul.
A particular verse that has carried me through many storms, says:
Loved without Condition
Do you know what being loved without condition feels like? I hope you do.
It feels like, no matter how many times you screw up there is Someone who will just be incredibly happy you came home.
But with all the horrifying things going on in the world right now, it can be difficult to imagine loving the ‘unlovable’.
This is my point….we cannot really understand what “unconditional” Love means, to its fullest extent, because we all have a ‘limit’ to our love. Admit it. We do. If someone crushed your beloved child would you love them?
I am honest about the finite reasoning of my ’emotional love’. I would have the fight of my life to love someone who destroyed my kid on purpose. There would be a LOT of clinging to that anchor of my soul to forgive them and see them as loveable.
But my Father, who redeemed me, does not look at us that way. He simply sees His Child.
This verse reminds me of this: “Very Rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die, but God proves His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ” Romans 5:7-8
No one likes the word sinner. But essentially, and not to ‘downplay’ the depravity of sin, it means imperfect. I don’t know if you feel completely faultless, but I know I am far from perfect. My attitude, my mindset, my selfishness, and my conscious choices often reflect this. I am ok with that, because I have an Anchor for my soul that has completely redeemed the worst of me and given me life to the FULLEST.
5 Things the Father’s Love has Taught Me
- God’s love has taught me that I have worth. I often did not “feel” I had worth as a youth. But He showed me how infinitely He loves me and always has…even in my most inner thoughts that are undeserving of grace.
- His love has taught me how to love others. Despite what many organizational religions may project (hello headlines of abuse in Prominent Churches), the God of the Bible’s perfect, astounding love, leaves NOTHING to disappoint. His love for us and call to love others with the same unconditional glory that he loves us, is a breathtaking, unparalleled Beauty.
- His love taught me that failure does not define me. Yep. I am loved despite my daily mistakes, and I will succeed in the face of many irreversible failures.
- I am not loved because of something I DO. The purest message of Christ teaches that God’s love is never and COULD never be built upon how “good” we are. Isn’t that relieving? I would never qualify. He loves me for the good, the bad and the ugly.
- God’s love challenges everything…in the BEST way. Someone is hateful? Love them. Someone doesn’t deserve grace? Give them grace. Someone is different? Learn from them, glean from them, love them.
His “Father Love” Cannot be Earned
One of my favourite verses brings my heart comfort each time I re-read it. It reminds me I cannot do anything to earn His love, and I do NOT have to. What a gift in the purest sense.
“When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” -Romans 4
It continually reminded me, “You are loved beyond the reaches of and expiration date”.
- Here is a wonderful resource for articles pertaining to a Bible view on every subject. While I may not agree across the board with every author, I have gleaned much wisdom from many of them over the years. You can find out more HERE.
- One of my favourite fellow siblings in Christ. He has exponentially spoken Truth in the face of much tribulation. You can read some wonderful articles on Paul Washer HERE.