Horses and Carriages

Elaine Storkey this morning on Thought for the Day had lots of good stuff to say on relationships. Relationships are about perseverance and hope, that things will be better. When people fail you, when they sin, you persevere and hope that redemption will come. Marriages aren’t therefore built on gushy feelings, to be dissolved when someone offends the other. Rather, you push the relationship forward, knowing that you are called to something far more important then just sex or a good time. It is the learning to really love, not just lust, each other that is the key to a healthy marriage. It is the learning to look for the good in the future that is the key to a healthy relationship.

Think about your relationship with Jesus. Are you in it for what you get out of Him now, or for what you will experience of Him in the future? If God doesn’t answer your prayers today do you stop bothering with him? If your pastor doesn’t do what you want him to do do you simply switch off and find another church? I meet far too many people who have given  up on God simply because they didn’t get what they lusted for – a God who fixed their lives and sorted everything out perfectly. They haven’t understood that the Christian life is not one of victory now but rather persevering to the receiving of victory later. God isn’t there to be lusted, he’s there to be loved. We don’t stop loving our children or our spouse if they don’t do everything for us that we would want, so why do we stop loving God when he doesn’t wait on us hand and foot?

Perseverance, patient perseverance, grows love because we discover that in the waiting the relationship with God is far more important really then the thing we are waiting for from God. Ultimately, the God who is eternally in relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, wants not so much to give us what we need, but simply to be with us. The ultimate hope for Christians is that Jesus’ death means that we can be with him for ever. But eternal life starts right here and right now. So let’s all stop lusting after what God will do for us and instead start loving him simply for who he is.

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1 Comment on “Horses and Carriages

  1. Peter,
    Thanks for posting the link to Elaine Storkey’s comments. As I read your post prior to listening to the clip, Gal 6:2 immediately came to mind. Having been married for going on thirty-two years, I’ve often pondered to myself and occasionally responded to remarks by others (my three grown children for instance) what our “secret” has been and what has been most difficult for me. Exercising forbearance has got to be the key – only God been able to give me the grace to not just let real and perceived faults slide but respond in that “spirit of meekness” St. Paul speaks of.
    In a sense the patient perseverance is very close to one definition of forbearance I ran across: “the good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence” – and only the pneumati gained from God can give us that “good nature”. When we contemplate the penultimate act of forbearance by God through Jesus (Rom 3:25), as you have said loving him is the appropriate response and I think, the only way to get to perseverance & forbearance!
    Pax et Bonum,
    Steve

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