Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart (Ps 73:1).
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds (Ps 73:28).
Last week my wife and I closed on buying our first home. It was a wonderful experience- except one thing. While we were doing the preliminary walkthrough I went up into the attic. My wife asked me to take down the ugly curtains on the sun dormers.
So as I reached across to tear them down, my foot pivoted and leaned into this old particle board that was falling apart- instead of pressing into the rafters like I should have done. I thought it would be OK, but before I knew it, my foot went through our ceiling! Needless to say, I made my first trip to Lowe’s.
In the Christian life, many of us share the same kind of experience spiritually. We listen to sermons about God’s love. We read about his love. We tell others about his love. Yet, ultimately we do not lean into his love. We look around to find something that looks safer, and before we know it, what we have leaned into breaks through and lets us down.
God’s love is like the rafters on a house. It holds everything together. It is meant to be leaned into. It supports us. When we lean into something else- like the affections of another person, the thrill of buying new things, or self-destructive behaviors (i.e. alcohol, drugs, premarital sexual activity, etc.), we will lose our footing in life.
God created us to lean into him.
We think that if we get that new job we would be better off. Or we might think that if we could just be married, we would be satisfied. Or if we were able to have children life would be complete. Yet, we get the new job and yearn for the old. We get married and our spouse causes us great frustration at times. Children make us lose sleep and require so much energy leaving us exhausted.
Spiritually, we say that if we just go to church more, read our bibles more, start new traditions, we would fare well. Yet, these spiritual activities will let you down. We are still left craving and unsatisfied. How is that, you might ask?
Spiritual activity is not intended to satisfy you. It is intended to teach you. Just like there is a difference between observing a traffic sign and following its instruction, there is a difference between doing spiritual activities and actually being spiritual. Spiritual activity is intended to inform you and remind you about the love of God so that you will lean into it as you experience life.
All of life will let us down if we try to lean into anything but God’s love.
This is difficult because the new job, relationships- whether a spouse or having children or friendship, shopping, substances and even spiritual activities will let us down. Trusting in these things will have the same result as me stepping on old particle board. They are not intended to be leaned into.
Instead, we must come to the point where we start to press our feet into God’s love. This means coming to a realization and acceptance that no matter what we go through in life, no matter what happens, we trust God’s sovereign love for us. It is the transition between saying, “I know that God is a God of love…Of course God loves his people…God loves the Church,” to “I know that God loves me“- even through even the most difficult circumstances.