Just so you know…

I love Jesus.

Yep, I’m one of those people.

And guess what- I love God and the Holy Spirit too.

Can I make you a little more uncomfortable? Probably. How? By writing this next sentence.

I love God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit even though I’m not leading a perfectly happy, healthy or wealthy life.

Crazy, huh? Yep. Don’t worry, I know.

You might be wondering why I’m spending my time making you nervous instead of posting a silly Abby story.

Well, I went to church today. And man if that place and that man speaking the Word of God didn’t hit me right between the eyes. Again.

They work together and do that to me pretty regularly. I would say weekly. You’d think I’d get used to. I don’t. They’re too good. It’s almost like they (the church and God) actually care enough about me (who does not know either of them as intimately as I should) to tell me the truth.

It’s the equivalent of your one friend who will actually tell you when there’s a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth. (That is if you’re crazy enough to eat spinach in the first place. Who are you, Popeye?)

Anyway, although the sermon wasn’t only about this, and there are probably quite a few people who heard the same message and think I must have been jamming to my ipod this morning because they heard something else, this is what I left with:

I love God. And not for anything He has given me. And not for anything I hope He’ll give me.

Oh, don’t get me wrong- He has given me some amazing gifts. I don’t need to go past salvation, but I will: my home, job, husband, child, friends, church, food, clothes, books, music, etc.

But it isn’t about those things.

I love Him because I can’t not.

See, I love Him because He loves me. And it feels amazing to be loved so unconditionally.

That sounds selfish, doesn’t it? That I love Him because He loves me. That if He didn’t love me, I wouldn’t love him back. I know how it sounds, trust me I do, but I think it’s the only way I can explain it.

Because here’s the thing- it’s the only thing I can count on. His love. Him loving me is the only thing I can fully trust in.

I’m only 28 years old and while I joke that I’m getting up there, I know I’m still young. I have a long way to go before anyone’s going to call me old and wise. But in my short time here, I’ve learned some stuff.

For example: sometimes you lose your job. Money goes much faster than it comes. There is a point when food is a luxury. Friends move away. People are mean without reason. Sickness happens. Marriages break apart. And loved ones die even though you’ve been on your knees praying through the night.

But God loves me. He just keeps on loving me and there’s no way He’s going to stop. And I love Him for that.

The thing is, I know lots of people who subscribe to the health, wealth and happiness message. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Except if you only love God because it’s on the checklist for becoming healthy, wealthy, and happy. If you’re loving Him because of what He can do for you, I think you’re going to end up hurting. And feeling very alone when things aren’t going well.

I firmly believe God can make everyone healthy and wealthy and happy, I believe He has that power, but I just don’t think that’s in the plans for right now. That’s what I’m expecting as my welcome home gift when I get to Heaven. A cute little box (maybe Tiffany’s robin egg blue) with a big bow and a whole lot of health, wealth and happiness inside.

Maybe I sound pessimistic. That’s okay- I’ve been called worse- but let me try to summarize why I stand where I stand on this issue.

I’ve been unhealthy before- pneumonia, kidney stones, car accidents- and I’ve been poor before- food stamps, church donations, ramen noodles- and I’ve most certainly been unhappy before- miscarriage, broken relationships, funerals- and I can’t help but cringe at the idea that all of those things could have been avoided if I’d just loved God more. If I’d just trusted in Him more. If I’d just

Here’s the real kicker- I know that sickness and death are a part of life here on earth. And because of that, I expect there to be a few more moments when I’m unhealthy and (hopefully not terribly) poor and unhappy again in my lifetime.

In spite of that, and because of that, I love God. Because He loves me.

I don’t want to come across as prideful in my love of God. In fact, I want the opposite.

I weighed the pros and cons of writing this and I ended up going for it for a very personal reason: because I know that at some point in my life I will again question my relationship with God. I’ll be down in the dumps and struggling with whether or not He is who He says He is.

And I want to be able to reread this and remember that right now, I know the truth. That God loves me. And that I love Him.

He loves me. He loves me when I’m sick and poor and sad.

And I really, truly, deeply hope you know that He loves you too.

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2 Comments to “Just so you know…”

  1. BEAUTIFUL FEELINGS, PUT INTO BEAUTIFUL WORDS. LOVE YA BUSHELS

  2. Loved this post! So true and simply- such an important message for us all. Glad God loves us and we truly love him. Thanks for sharing this. Take care. Jane

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