This summer, God has been providing for me in new ways. I haven’t felt particularly close to Him in my prayers, but I’m in a good place in my life and I know I can see Him working in me; even if I don’t have any intense prayer experiences.
I’m learning to relax more, even when I have things to do. Although I’ve been taking a few classes, I still feel like I’ve been having a summer at the same time. I’ve met up with friends, spent time with my family, and even read a few good books already. School has been going well for me and the weather has been awesome. My friendships are growing and I’m being fed at church and in my home.
Still, things come up that start to rock me. It’s hard not to feel like I’m being scrutinized when writing up resumes and cover letters, talking to potential employers and analysing all of my strengths and weaknesses. I’m trying to be my best self at those times, but still hold my own and not let myself get caught up in changing to try to impress another person. It’s also hard to balance my time; even now when I only have a few courses on my plate. All of the social commitments, school work and job hunting add up and it’s hard to find time for myself. More importantly, it’s hard to find time for God.
Like I said though, I can see Him working in me.
A few nights ago, I read a prayer that said, “… with the power of the Holy Spirit, I can love You even as You love me.” I’ve always struggled with the idea that I can never love God as much as He loves me. His love amazes me and I’m so awestruck by it when I think about it. How the creator of the entire universe could care for me so much that He would take away all of my sins and failures…. That He would really want to have a relationship with me, being a part of my everyday life, taking an interest in the silly concerns that I bring to Him in my prayers before bed… but He does care! It’s so amazing to know that He does. But I tend to end up feeling a little hopeless when I realise that what I want most, to return that immense love, is impossible for my small human heart. But those words in my prayer book reassure me because I can have that opportunity to love my God as much as He deserves: “even as He loves me.” That would be so beautiful! I want to love God that way so badly.
In thinking about this, it has reinforced in my heart that I want to love God through how I live my life, how I treat others, through my efforts in school and work, through including Him in all of my decisions, big and small. Loving God isn’t a feeling in prayer. It’s a way of living, inviting the Holy Spirit to act though me. Loving others and offering to God everything I do, think and say. I can give God my time in prayer, which is maybe 15 minutes a day and an hour at church on Sundays… or I can give God EVERYTHING. I can invite Him to join in every moment of my life, guiding me and being with me in the difficult days, and also enjoying the little things that make me smile on my good days. I’ve been working on doing that this summer, and my heart is better for it.
by Anne Reeler