The recent passing of my mother calls to mind how important is God’s constancy. Within this vast and beautiful universe we are faced with the ironic constancy of change. Not so with God our redeemer, whose loving embrace is constant and ever-ready to hold and comfort us.
The stress of a passing, especially of a beloved mother, can leave us feeling torn asunder. I know that such a loss has brought sorrow to me and many others touched by my mother’s life and witness. I am thankful that the support of my wife, son, and many family members and friends have helped me endure this time of grief. In contrast to the highly conditional love of critics, my mother’s love was remarkably similar to what God offers us. Yes, the unconditional acceptance we receive from those who cherish us brings to mind God’s even more enveloping love.
In contrast to God’s ever-present embrace, we can face something quite different from the harshness of the world. God beckons us to draw closer to our Redeemer when we face obstacles and challenges. Hostility from those who cultivate anger reminds me how important it is that we transcend evil. God is our strength and our redeemer, and not even determined human malevolence can rob us of that.
Now comes an even more difficult truth. I also need to remind myself that I must remain open to forgiving those who have wronged me. Yes, I am obligated to receive and forgive those persons with whom I may have had conflict. Even as I seek God’s comfort and guidance so also must I be willing to help others find the redemption they seek. To remain as hardened and unforgiving as those who have acted against me will interfere with what I seek from God. So, rather than plot against my enemies I must be willing to somehow, some day receive them as forgiven sinners such as am I.
My encouragement to all of you is to persevere and not allow those who worry you on earth to rob you of God’s love, mercy and grace. Hold fast to the promises that God will always be there to comfort you in a loving embrace. Ever-more constant than our critics’ conniving is the loving embrace of our Lord and Savior. God bless you all!