I grew up with an uncanny certainty that remains. I knew I was and am loved and part of a family. We did not always get along. Frequently my brothers and I were fighting more than we were talking. Yet, I cannot ever recall not feeling and knowing that I was loved. It was and is an incredible gift that I now appreciate far more than I did when I was young.
Many today struggle with knowing that they are loved. Society seems to be telling them that God's love is conditional on behavior and attitude. The foundation of family relationships seems to be conformance to a mythical norm. Even success at work comes from the people you know instead of what you do. Everything is conditional. Nothing can be guaranteed. Life is a cause and effect. In the process of it all, our confidence always seems to rest on weak premises, iffy behaviors, and uncontrollable results.
The God I know does not operate that way. God's negotiation with us is totally one sided. God says you and I are unconditionally accepted just as we are. God tells us that every wrong, any failure, and each weakness have been addressed by Divine action, so we are free to choose to be recreated in Divinity's likeness of character, morality, and passion. God even goes on to remind us that Divinity knows every minute detail of our life – and still confirms our unconditional acceptance and opportunity for recreation.
You and I sit in an incredible position. Old words can be our own; “I know you'll never dump me in Hades; I'll never even smell the stench of death. You've got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around.” (Acts 2.28) We can look into the moment at hand with absolute faith that we are free to choose our path and God is willing to be an intimate partner with us. We can step with confidence that the Spirit will empower truth, strengthen community, and lead if we are willing to be led.
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