Thursday, December 1, 2011


I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to write this post. I've been thinking about it since I heard the sermon at Stella's dedication in October. For some reason, it just hit me. Hard.

Essentially, the gist of the message was that God's love for us is extravagant. Being reminded of that simple truth was humbling enough, but the pastor went on to say something like this:

"If we could really grasp the depth of God's love for us, I'm not sure how we could reject Him. Because it's hard to turn away that kind of love."

My brain went two different places with that.

First, I took a look at me. Am I responding to God's love the way I should be? Am I living my life with true awareness of God's unyielding, unshakable, unbreakable, extravagant love for me?

I thought about how incredibly blessed my life has been. Obviously there have been ups and downs. But for the most part?

God has spoiled me plum rotten.

My life is rich in love, family, friends, rewarding work, and Pottery Barn. (Let's be real here, y'all. I'm real thankful for Pottery Barn.) And even setting aside all the earthly blessings I'm surrounded by daily, I've been given an abundance of sweet, marvelous grace. And that grace? It's extravagant. Scandalous, some might say.

I'm not yet sure how to remind myself to bask in the knowledge of this extravagance on a regular basis, but I know it's important that I do. I don't want to ever stop living like I'm the luckiest girl in the world. Because when I can remember that, it's easier to overlook the bad days and incredibly minor inconveniences of everyday life. When I'm living with the knowledge that I'm utterly adored by a loving God, I can't help but live in joy.

But being convicted about me is one thing. What I thought about next was tougher.

What about everyone else?

What about the people I come into contact with daily? Do they truly understand how God loves them? If they did, wouldn't it, as the pastor suggested, be hard to reject that kind of love?

The truth is, I'm fairly certain that most people just don't get it. There's so much bad in the world that I think it's hard for most people to believe that God could be so good. And even among the "good," there are too many Christians spewing hate. Believe me, I'm under no delusion that God doesn't condemn certain actions as sin. But I also know that Jesus loved and sought to redeem all. In fact, the people He seemed to take the biggest issue with were the Pharisees and Sadducees, who clung to religion at the expense of love for others.

Let that one sink in for a second.

What I'm saying is this. If the world is ever going to come to understand God for who He really is, it's up to us--the church--to show them. We don't have to shove it in anyone's face (although I know there are times when confrontation can't be avoided). What we have to do is live love. We have to live joy. We have to look like a people who understands that the God of creation is crazy about us, and everyone else. Because He is. If we could just do that--if we could really show the world what extravagant love looks like... well, I wonder what the world would look like then.

1 comment:

bmullen said...

Ryan, this is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing it. :) I couldn't agree more.

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