It amazes me (but shouldn't) how God orchestrates experiences and lessons to make one point loud and clear. Last week at Delanco Camp Meeting God had my attention (despite the fact that Seth wasn't sleeping well, I was very ill with a sinus infection, two toddlers at camp is just a dirty exhausting experience, and I didn't make it to many sermons).
As I sit and reflect on what God is speaking to my heart one thing is clear- holiness is less about me being a perfect person (always doing the "right" thing), and more about me loving others perfectly (i.e. selflessly). Darryl made that abundantly clear in his class each morning. One thing he shared that I am still pondering is that the quality of my relationship with God is in direction proportion to the quality of my relationships with others. Chew on that for awhile.
And I also re-read a chapter in my constant companion, With Christ in the School of Prayer, titled: Love and Prayer. Interesting.
"Not as a result of what I try to be when praying, but because of what I am when I am not praying, is my prayer answered by God... The right relationships with the living God above me and the living men around me are the conditions for effective prayer" No wonder we don't see as many answered prayers as we would like! There is a real disconnect between the lives we aspire to lead, and the way we actually treat the people around us.
Murray exhorts: "View each wretched one, however unloveable he is, in the light of the tender love of Jesus the Shepherd searching for the lost. Look for Jesus Christ in him and take him into a heart that really loves, for Jesus' sake"
Enter real life: a one year old who wakes up crying in the night, a two year old who is every bit of two, a husband I don't get to see as often as I'd like to with his new work schedule, living with Josh's parents, brother, and grandmother- all with various needs, preferences, personalities, and schedules... and God's current assignment this year to deny self. Recipe for disaster- or recipe for my growth in holiness. I choose the latter!
Who does God want you to love more perfectly today? How are you growing more into His likeness? I believe this year of HMA is the perfect training ground for the mission field, where we will need to love our fellow teammates, those we serve, and those who are different from us with His love. May He continue to perfect your love and my love for those around us as we minister where He has placed us.