Tag Archives: God’s promise

Is God’s Supply of Love and Caring Limited?

A sign of God's promise of unconditional love.
A sign of God’s promise of unconditional love.

At the dance last week, we applauded the couple who were chosen as winners of the “spot dance.” They had obviously managed to be in the right place (whatever that place was) when the song finished. I leaned towards one of the other couples and said, “Oh well, I wouldn’t want to waste my luck on such a tiny prize.”

When I think about it, many of us have the same attitude when it comes to asking for God’s help in prayer. Oh yes, we complain to God, and we tell God what we need, but we don’t really expect God’s help in the mundane everyday things, like finding us a parking place when we’re late. We wouldn’t want to waste God’s time and caring on such a little need. We sure wouldn’t want God to get tired of our whining and not be willing to help us when we really need help, when we’re faced with a disaster. We know that we can suffer from compassion fatigue. We don’t want God to have a similar problem, especially when it comes to us.

Does God have a limit to God’s supply of love and caring? I don’t think so. Jesus compared God’s endless and abundant love to that of parental love.  “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:9-11)

For me it is extremely comforting to know that God’s love is limitless. I can’t wear God out when I bring my concerns to God. Just as a mother opens her arms to cuddle a child with a scraped and bleeding knee, God reaches out and draws us under the safety of God’s care when we come with our daily concerns and fears. We can trust that there is nothing too little or too big for our ever loving God.

Tinsel and Tears at Christmas

Tinsel and Tears at Christmas

            We all have times when waves of weariness and pain threaten to erode our best defenses. They bring cold, dark water with a dangerous undertow. Sometimes December intensifies the pain, the fear. People are laughing, singing, wishing us a “Merry Christmas”. Our world expects us to be happy.

We forget that from its very beginning, Christmas has been a mixture of tinsel and tears, joy and sorrow. Our Christmas story tells us that God’s coming to live among us on earth brought joy amidst sorrow and fear. Mary and Joseph, engaged but not yet married, far from family, are homeless in a strange place. In the midst of their distress new life comes. Their beautiful baby is born.

The promise of Christmas is not a life free from pain, grief or illness. The promise of Christmas lies in hope, hope for new life. The promise of Christmas is God’s presence among us, God’s endless love surrounding us. Julian of Norwich, a thirteenth century mystic offers us this centering prayer: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” This is faith. This is hope.  God has promised to guide our footsteps, to carry us when we falter and to bring forth new life within us.

Sarah Ban Breathnach, in her book, “Simple Abundance” tells us that when she is overwhelmed with life, she repeats Julian’s prayer over and over like a mantra. Rather than offering understanding or answers, this prayer brings hope and peace. The words bring strength enough to hold on until the night gives way to a new day, a good day.

This Christmas season, open your heart to God’s hope in the midst of your darkness. Trust that eventually, ”all will be well”, maybe not today, maybe not as you had planned and dreamed, but in God’s time and in God’s way. Believe with Julian of Norwich, “all manner of things will be well.”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)