True Christian Stories
by Deb Matthews
Welcome! Here's another true Christian story from my collection of things that have really happened to me (including stories about miracles, angels, Civil Air Patrol and God's love and blessings). This is about letting God into your heart and keeping the love alive.
Keeping God's Love Alive
Copyright © 2000 by Debra K. Matthews. All rights reserved
It's a funny thing about God. In spite of the fact that he created the whole universe, and you and me, and thus could have every right to force his way into our lives, he is instead a perfect gentleman.
Although the Bible says he's "not far from every one of us," he seems to wait patiently for us to show an interest before he comes close. Usually, he just does something, and then waits to see if we'll respond -- like with Moses in the wilderness.
Moses ran away from Egypt and spent forty years in the wilderness just caring for his father-in-law's sheep. One day he spotted an unusual site, a bush that was on fire, but the fire wasn't consuming the bush. The Lord had put the burning bush there, and then waited to see what Moses would do.
Moses watched the thing from a distance, and then said , "I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." Then the Bible says, " ... when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, 'Moses, Moses.'"
Moses then had a choice. He could have answered, or he could have thought he was hearing a ghost and run for his life. Fortunately, he made the right choice -- he answered, and then he had a conversation with God.
God does the same thing today with you and me. Whether a person believes in him or not, he does something to get their attention, and then he waits to see if they'll respond.
With those of us who do believe in him, he often just nudges us. We'll feel that gentle urging inside that says without words, come pray ... or ... come read the Word ... or ... come worship. But if we're too busy, we'll miss it, and miss out on a wondrous opportunity for refreshing and renewal.
The best time for me, when I yield to that leading, is at night when the world is at rest and quiet all around me. I like to start by whispering to him, "I love you, Lord." I guess in some ways that my time with the Lord is like the tender sharing and caring times between wives and their husbands.
True, I can't relate all acts of marriage with walking with God, but I can say that walking with God has its own special intimacies. Just as with successful marriages, walking with God requires you to set aside quality time with him every day. Times to tell him how much you love him. Times to remind yourself of the things that drew you to him in the first place, and then to tell him about those things.
For me, that means telling him things like, "Lord, I love you. I love you for the way you show your love to all of us. I love you for the way you want good things in our lives. Thank you for caring for me, and believing in me. Thank you for sending your son to redeem me unto you -- for making a way for me to come to you without feelings of guilt or inadequacy."
I find as I take the time to turn my thoughts on him, and speak gently and tenderly to him, that his presence begins to feel closer and closer to me. I do this, even at times when I don't feel at all 'spiritual' or close to the Lord.
By taking the time to say those things and draw close to him, I find him drawing close to me. It's the same thing that successful couples do to keep their love for each other alive. By taking the time to remind ourselves of the good points in the one we love, and to verbally affirm those things to that person, we stir up the love and help it to stay strong and alive.
And ... it's ok that we have our differences, too. I don't mean as in arguing, but as in having very different talents and abilities and desires. I know of two women who are perfectly comfortable with sending their husbands and another guy off to enjoy a day of skiing without the wives. The guys ski, and the wives do whatever. They're comfortable having their own times apart, and the other times together.
Just as couples don't have to have all the same interests, but can celebrate each other's uniqueness, the Lord and I can rejoice in each other's differences. God has hopes and dreams and things he does that are outside my realm of experience, and I have hobbies and things I enjoy that have absolutely nothing in the world to do with his kingdom. He lets me do those things, and loves that those things make me happy and are fulfilling to me.
Sometimes he lets me go off and do those things without him getting involved in any way. Other times, he seems to enjoy letting me tell him about them and how much fun I had doing them, or if I ask him he joins me in doing them. And when it comes to things that he does that are completely apart from me, many times he delights in sharing them with me -- either letting me be involved in them, or just laying them on my heart while I'm open to him, especially in times of prayer and worship.
God is god, and can do what he wants. But for some reason, he loves us, and believes in us, and wants us to share in the wonders of his creation and his very own life and presence.
The choice, as always, is ours -- to either ignore him, or to respond when he nudges us, and to work together with him in keeping the love and relationship alive!
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Added April 16, 2000