Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Love That Never Quits

Recently I read that Psalm 136 is a compilation of God's great works and his unending love.  It is a piece of David's poetry that you turn to, to remind you of a love that never ends.  I knew this writing, and read it zillions of times - times when I really NEEDED to be reminded that He was actually there and cared about me.  So as I returned to this psalm, it was good...until I hit on something I seemed to have missed in past readings.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.  His love endures forever."

The Message version says..."His love never quits."  

Forever....a very long time.  Never quits...pretty definite and to the point.

Get through verse 9 and all seems to fit pretty nicely.  Then you hit verse 10...

"to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, his love never quits."  Babies were being killed and his love was not quitting.

verse 15..."...he swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; his love never quits" A whole army of men with families destroyed; they were obeying orders and serving.

verse 17 & 18..."to him who struck down great kings...and killed mighty kings...his love never quits"    More death.

Why?  Where is this never ending love being shown?

Now, in the context of this history, the Pharaoh, his army and these kings being referred to were known to be against the purposes of God.  They were "struck down" and "swept away" to rescue the chosen people of God, the people of Israel.  So, historically and in the eyes of God's people, his love never quits.

But what do we do with this truth today?  Does God's love stay and never quit in the middle of our daily questions.  In the middle of our wars.  While we are waiting to be rescued in the middle of our suffering?

When babies are being killed.....His love never quits.

When there is needless suffering and people are being annihilated.....His love never quits.

And maybe closer to home...

a young baby or child dies ...... His love never quits.

a husband leaves because he just doesn't want to be married anymore, or worse, he leaves for another woman (or vice versa)..... His love never quits.

a husband or wife is diagnosed with a debilitating disease....His love never quits.

a loss of a loved one suddenly and unexpected...His love never quits.

a job loss and no end in sight to the financial devastation.... His love never quits.

a child turns his back on God ..... His love never quits.

we are betrayed or misunderstood by a friend ..... His love never quits.

we cannot seem to get past our addictions and live in victory ..... His love never quits.

abandoned by a father or mother, abused by a dad or mom, or family member.... His love never quits.

a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or fire which takes everything you own on this earth....His love never quits.  (And I have experienced the fire which takes it all)

What do we do with "His love never quits" in our world and the messiness of lives today?

I don't have neatly wrapped up answers, but I do know I can look back over what He has done in my life and remember His goodness.  Whatever battle or suffering I (or we) may face, I can recount His goodness. Which is what they are doing in Psalm 136.  When I remember, recount and rehearse in my mind what God has already done, I am encouraged to move forward.  In my tears and anguish, I know He is loving me and will take care of me.  When I need courage, when I need to have Him wrap His arms around me and remind me He is there, as I praise Him for what He has already done, I know He is faithful to meet me in my need.

Just yesterday, I was praying to the Lord for our financial need.  We are back in the "missionary" phase of our life, not traditionally employed, and trusting God for His provision as we minister and go to the people He has called us to.  Full time given over to teaching and seeing healing come to the lives of those who have been wounded by fathers or the lack of them.  And we rely on God and those faithful to Him for our provision.  So I was praying.  I was recounting His goodness in the past. And there was a whole lot of goodness!!   I was praising Him and not forgetting all His benefits (Psalm 103:2).  But I was wondering how we would survive the summer.  And I was wanting to see "His love never quits".

Afterwards, I checked our emails and God showed up in the form of family and loved ones....letting us know some funds were on the way to bless the ministry.  We would make it through July!  God's love never quits!

Yes, life is messy and it hurts.  There is pain and there is loss.  But I KNOW that TODAY God is the same.  We need to remind ourselves of the past and His faithfulness.    Financial pain can hurt; loss of life or devastating illness to a loved one can mean unfathomable pain, but I know He will not let go of us.  Remind yourself.  I think that is partially why God kept telling the children of Israel to "write it all down" because we so easily forget.

In the facing forward, sometimes we have to look back...

"He remembers us in our low estate, His love never quits
and He frees us from our enemies.  His love never quits.
He gives food to every creature, His love never quits.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, His love never quits....it endures FOREVER.:  verse 23-26

For friends of mine whom I know are hurting....whatever road you or I are facing today, my heart to you is.....HIS LOVE NEVER QUITS.

photo:  National Geographic.com 


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