“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16 Jesus is God’s best gift to the world, but he is not by far God’s only gift. He is the only gift that matters in the end, always there no matter how hard we try to push him out the door. With Jesus, God transforms from a impersonal God to a very personal and sympathetic God. Which, I admit, does make me stop in my tracks and wonder, Didn’t he know before? Didn’t he know how hard it was to live every day in this world? He was there, wasn’t he? With all of his people before he came down as Jesus? Maybe he did know. But at the same time, knowing and experiencing something are two very different things. I don’t claim to know all the answers. I don’t. But that is what faith is, isn’t it? Believing in something you can’t see, something you don’t quite understand?
Know this: Jesus is love personified. I have seen too much and been through too much not to believe. I cling to hope. One day, I will be free. One day, I’ll be walking down a street in Heaven and I won’t need a walker or a cane or anything. It will just be me. And I won’t get tired, because I’ll have more stamina. I will be surrounded by light and the purest love I can imagine. Nothing will ever hurt me again. I will worship with the angels. I will be able to walk hand in hand with children and not be worried that I’ll fall. Not be worried I’ll be left behind. Because I know I won’t be. Neither will you.
There is so much pain and suffering in this world. God knows. And he is doing something about it. In his time, not ours. In heaven, time works differently. Years can pass here on earth, and it would be but a moment there. Maybe it works like that because Heaven is not on this earth plane. It’s somewhere outside of time and dates. When we don’t understand what is taking God so long to answer a prayer, we need to remember this. His time, not ours.
Knowing that we are eternally safe – our bodies are temporary, but our souls are immortal – can be a comfort, but what about when we are “in the moment”? When our backs are up against the wall? When we are frustrated and sad? That is when we rely on our faith to get us through. God sends us a rainbow after the storm. Signs that he is here and he loves us. He sends us gifts. For me, he got me through neuroblastoma and what came afterwards. His hands were what helped me stand on my own. His grace is always there when I need it. He settled the storm in my heart in high school. He brought lovely people into my life. He enabled me to live on my own for my junior and senior years of college. He was with me. He never left. He was with me through the years I was suffering from back pain. And even now. He is with me. Always. Even when I sleep and am unaware, Sometimes we are so blinded by our pain that we push him away or ignore his presence altogether. But none of that will change his love for us.